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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:28 pm 
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Suttonorum (or LMBEP) has never been exported with any frequency on a commercial basis (they had a better probability of ending up as Armadillo Soup - Armadillo is what we call loricarids in Zulia). Oliver was very lucky to make the first fruitful contacts at a moment when a location with a certain abundancy of adults had been encountered. The vicinities of this location, in the lake proper and up the tributaries are being raided by desperate fisherman trying to solve their families needs by selling a few of these fish at a hefty price. Then there are the "rich boys" coming down from nearby Maracaibo, Caracas and other cities as well as foreigners, wetting their behinds and taking pictures of the Catatumbo Lightning at the same time they try to fish a LMBEP. This area (South Lake Maracaibo) sustains a healthy fishing industry that provides the region with freshwater fish, mainly catfish and larger characidae as well as shrimp in their juvenile stages (popcorn) and some freshwater perches. The fishing being mostly artisan has helped keep this balance.
The area is the less affected by the oil industry because the amount of water coming in from the tributaries is immense, pumping contamination up into the central and North of the Lake. The city of Maracaibo is at the North tip of Lake Maracaibo and most of the oil industry is in the Northern third of the Lake.

As to the MRBEP (Magdalena River , Colombia, Blue Eyed Panaque). The fish has been steadily commercialized throughout the years. Some years back, I would dare to say some 15 years ago more or less, the leather processing factories of which I understand there are quite a few on the Magdalena were dumping large amounts of dye or other chemical byproducts into the river. This hurt the fish populations and P. cochliodon became very rare. The fish became again available about five years ago. P. cochliodon has generally been offered as P. suttonorum to get a good price. I understand that for some reason, most specimens ended up in Asia. Even Oliver seems to be selling most of his recent true LMBEP to Asia.

Well, Zulia (the State where Maracaibo is located) is a small state and most people within certain circles know each other. My family's Haciendas (ranches) are located in the South Lake region and the places where the LMBEP inhabits is at most, 30-60 minutes from the Catatumbo. two tributaries (Santa Ana and Lower Catatumbo) flank one of our properties. Many fisherman work as ranch hands on my family's farms...

It was through these fishermen and those of nearby fishing communities that the word spread slowly throughout the years.

A group of Biologist from nearby Universidad de Los Andes, in Merida State, actually (geographically) closer to the South Lake region, took up the effort on their own and re-taught the LMBEP to the local fishing community... it was their effort, in combination with the work of the fisherman that produced the final results in 2007.

All this said, I've been in the middle of all the LMBEP thing all along, strongly motivated by Wil (because I actually was into my discus and altum thing) in persuit of the big buck. I came back to the US and left all that behind and eventually, someone had the luck we did not.

And so, I'll get back to fixing my filtration system that needs a little fine tuning and maybe take some pics from the now Orinoco Altum/Nanay Scalare tank that DRD asked me to post.

Ed

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:54 pm 
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Is this Suttonorum? http://www.aquarist-classifieds.co.uk/p ... 114278.php


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:01 am 
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I would say so by comparison to the below pics. The picture was taken by Donald Taphorn at the Museum of the School of Science of Zulia State University. The person holding the fish whose face you can't see is Wil Cabezas. Pics are of August 2007.

Ed


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:48 am 
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I think for $2000 I could come up with something more attractive.
They seem too expensive and rare to be harvested for the aquarium trade.
$2000 would buy a large group of Grade AAA wild discus, for instance.
Or a herd of Hypancistrus zebra which may be bred and would more than pay for themselves. Just my opinion.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:51 pm 
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You could write a song like maybe title it... "I Sigh for your Lake Blue Eyes"... and then you might get rich!

I wouldn't pay $200 despithe the fact I passed a really long time looking for them.

Now catfish people... they are something else.

Ed

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:25 pm 
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I know how fanatic the catfish people are since I am one.
P. suttonorum seems too close to being an endangered species and too large to reasonably expect to breed them in a home aquarium that they seem to me to be a species best left in the wild where their population has some chance to recover.

So many of the rarest and most expensive catfish are bought singly as status symbols and that kind of collecting only harms a diminished wild populations. Rare fish should be kept to be bred so collectors can buy tank raised specimens and leave the wild fish be.
It's just as well they are so expensive because the price discourages most would be buyers.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:24 am 
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I don't think a single one has been sold here in the U.S. or Canada at those prices.... but he was selling them to Japan at $1500 up, for resale.

Ed

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:47 pm 
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A recent article by Heiko B. in a UK aquarist Mag (PFK) suggests that the decline of the Magdalena basin P. cochliodon is due to an American attempting to wipe out Stingrays in the river system in the nineties. Is that possible / probable / feasible?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:22 pm 
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That does not seem plausible to me.

If there is anything to Heiko's claim I would say it has more to do with the cooperation between the US DEA and it's Colombian counterpart's program of indiscriminate use of herbicides to control illicit Coca plantations.
This program has done far more environmental damage than it has been successful at eradication of Coca.

Over harvesting of P cochliodon seems more likely.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:08 pm 
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Phill Austen wrote:
A recent article by Heiko B. in a UK aquarist Mag (PFK) suggests that the decline of the Magdalena basin P. cochliodon is due to an American attempting to wipe out Stingrays in the river system in the nineties. Is that possible / probable / feasible?


1. P. cochliodon has been being exported from Colombia rather steadily and many, many times was labeled as P. suttoni from Lake Maracaibo (Venezuela). In 2004/2005 a Coombian exporter from Baranquilla contacted me offering them at USD 15.00 each by the box. I was already here in Utah so asked Wil in Maracaibo if he wanted to drive to Barranquilla (best known as Shakira's city of birth, lol!) to see the fish for himself and buy them if he liked them. I told the person offering us the fish that we were definitely interested but would like to see the fish first and that we wanted to arrange to pick them up personally. It is a short drive like between SLC and Vegas, about 5-6 hrs. The man kind of knew who we were and I assume he decided to play it safe and no longer contacted or replied to our efforts of contacting him.

I only assumed that a) he was sure he had caught his fish in the Magdalena and was trying to sell them as Lake Maracaibo. b) He doubted that he could really pull it on us.

You see, he though we wanted Lake Maracaibo BEP, but he didnt know that what we wanted were precisely his Magdalena BEP fish to have at hand and compare with our LM-BEP, when we had some.

So the Magdalena BEP has been on and off the trade but labelled at prices that found good sales in a single place, the Land of the Rising Sun.

The major cause behind the decline of P. cochliodon is because some of Colombia's largest leather tanning factories are located on the river banks of the Middle Magdalena river. The chemicals they use fave affected the river's aquatic life quite dramatically.

Larry also has a point but I am not aware of cocaine fumigations in that precise area.

2. As to an American "attempting" to wipe out the stingrays in the Magdalena... I guess anyone can try, but I doubt they would succeed, this is no little stream, its a 900 mile long, fat, wide and deep river born from two Andes Subranges, and a lot of high mountain water and snow juggles down that thing.

I think the P. cochliodon migrated to a safer place in the system, just as P. suttonorum migrated to safer, cleaner less polluted waters in Lake Maracaibo.

I need an update on any possible DNA work of the two species to see what finally happened to the classification as the question was: Are P. cochliodon and P. suttonorum the same species?

Ed

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:32 am 
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what the purpose in trying to wipe out :shock: the potamotrygonids?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:30 am 
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He mentions an American tried to wipe out the stingrays...that is, a foreigner... I think he refers to a greedy tradesman who looked at them as if they were beavers in the days of the North American colonization...I guess.

There is hardly a river in that area, and I mean Northern South America, where you cannot find freshwater stingrays, they are like rats in the water.

OTF Tradesmen start repeating, this is rare, that is rare, everything is so, so rare... to pump up prices higher and higher.

Then, when they have the prices where they want them, they go out and want to get rich overnight.

Ed

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:39 am 
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I have wondered why the most common SA fresh water sting rays have become so expensive.
True, even the smallest pups are still large enough that only 4 to 6 may be packed in a box but that is true of wild Discus also.
I can understand prices of about US $100 each but not $500 and up except for the rarest and most beautiful species like P. leopoldi.

I remember buying a six inch diameter P. motoro for only $15 wholesale in 1970 and that was the same price as a large Heckel Discus back then.
What is a bit ironic about this is I bought the sting ray from Fred
Cochu's Paramount Aquarium and Heiko was their main source of Discus and many other fishes.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:31 am 
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I think it started with restrictions on Brazilian species , then the demand on "special" stingrays (not motoro) become higher , so prices rised on Peruvian tiger rays and Colombian Flower and marble rays.
In general stingrays became much more popular in recent years


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:44 am 
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puertoayacucho wrote:
OTF Tradesmen start repeating, this is rare, that is rare, everything is so, so rare... to pump up prices higher and higher.

Then, when they have the prices where they want them, they go out and want to get rich overnight.

Ed


Understood :oops:

I've read that somewhere in SA was an attempt to remove stingrays from the river because they wanted to develope that place for tourism
Is it true that locals don't like the rays and cut their tails in any opportunity ?


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