Wild Caught: Aquarium fish trade of the Amazon

Wild Caught: The Aquarium Fish Trade of the Amazon is the first full length documentary to investigate the trade of tropical fish, the benefits it offers to rainforest conservation and the reasons why the industry in Brazil has been in decline. The film is considered, by both conservation groups and the international aquarium industry, to be a factual examination of the Brazilian wild-caught aquarium trade. This sustainable aquarium fishery is sometimes considered a controversial aspect of conservation in Amazonia. The aquarium fishery has existed for over 60 years in the state of Amazonas and has demonstrated that it can play an important role in the protection of one the Earth's most important forest and aquatic ecosystems without depleting the populations of the fish. However, over the last 20 years, the industry has been in crisis and has faced numerous challenges.

These challenges include the captive breeding of Amazon fish species internationally, concerns about fish mortality, pressure from animal rights groups, increased bureaucratic hurdles and bio-piracy. Each of these issues are examined in depth in the 90-minute film. ‘Wild Caught' is a meticulously researched production, featuring interviews with the world’s leading scientists, researchers, exporters, and importers. Remarkable cinematography propels the story as we follow the journey that the fish take from collection, to transport, export and ultimately to their arrival at importers around the world.


It is an ideal film for aquarium hobbyists looking to educate themselves on the reality of the trade in the Amazon region. It is also suited to those who are interested in learning about how certain traditional industries in the Amazon can provide a living to local populations without the need for deforestation, contamination of the rivers or threatening the diversity and population of species in the wild.


Don McConnell is an independent filmmaker who specializes in stories about aquatic conservation and indigenous cultures. He grew up in Ireland and then worked in the USA as a freelancer director/cinematographer for 20 years. His work has been seen on National Geographic Explorer, The Discovery Channel, PBS Nova, CNN and many other platforms. Don now lives in Amazonas, Brazil and is focused on productions about Amazon forest / river conservation and traditional sustainable industries.


Rent or buy the full length documentary at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/wildcaughtaquariumfish/471489992

Member of OATA

The Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association