Some of the comments in the Worldwide Web in regards to my and Natasha’s arrest in Manaus, Brazil on August 29th, 2008
Date: 12.19.2008, 09:11 PM – Tom Barr, California, U.S.A.
I am from the plant side of things, but the issues are much the same. However, for fish, you cannot bring them back like you can many plants. I can restore a lake and add the right plants, algae, bacteria, but adding the right community of invertebrates and fish is very difficult.
I work to restore the destruction we have done in California USA, and to remove the invasive species that threaten the native populations. That is the 2nd most serious threat to species, with habitat lost being the first.
But the real root of habitat loss and most resource issues is overpopulation.
You cannot address anything with preservation and restoration without good management of humans and the natural world resources, and ecosystem services.
I have hope, restoration ecology is good for restoring some of the ecosystem services, however, it will be unable to restore the Rainforest and all the species, nor discover species we might never had seen, or described as of yet.
There’s far more that we do not yet know.
One good example of restoration in the USA is the Ichetucknee springs state park in Florida. I think you will be surprised if you have not been to these springs at how similar they are to many other tropical regions. The park is wonderful now, but 30 years ago it was horrible.
Took a lot of work but wetlands and forest can bounce back rather well in few decades, invasive species are tough to control and most of the issue for many restoration projects.
Nile perch in Victoria for example, Tilapia in New Guinea, Hyacinth, Egeria, Cabomba in the Delta of California. These things also destory habitat.
Caulerpa in San Diego, CA etc…
We have a different appraoch in CA, we nail it asap and the short term higher cost make the long term cost much less.
But in other places, such thinking is not part of the methods they use. Aquarist are made to be the scape goat without consideration to the larger issue or how these folks can help the enivornment.
Ironically, aquarists have a very strong committment and passion for preserving such places and managing them as a sustainable natural resource.
The general public is much less inclined to do so.
I often say this: "Take only from nature what she has to offer".
We get more out of the land by looking at the real cost of the rainforest as a supply of water, larger scale ecosystem services such as O2/CO2 exchanges, flood reduction (ask those in LA, USA after the last Hurricane!), Ecotourism, Local indigenous population empowerment and preservation, animals, plants, diversity, agricultural uses for things i.e. Cocoa, Cassava and genetic resources that can help crops from pest, fishing and management for tropical fish trade, well managed, the aquarium hobby trade can be a nice balance.
It is not this horrible bunch of people out to rape Brazil, or wherever of their rare species.
That is what is sold to the public and buracrats. With good reason, the $ and bribes come from those that want the land and the short term gain’s it offers, they want the wood, they want the cattle ranching.
There is no effective strong government in place to address it.
Without good leadership, there’s no way to stop it.
We have the same issues here too, but not as bad, we already cut down most of the old growth here
So I have little choice in CA, USA, where we lost 96% of our wetlands (Guess why we have lots of farms here now??), and reduced salmon populations down by 95% or more (take the water for those farms), but to look at what can restore and save that’s left.
It’s not like we or anyone else is morally any better either as a whole.
If you cannot kill a mean old dog, toss a jar of fleas on them. You do not give up.
We can slow them down and hopefully restore areas.
The Jungle can take over the area if left alone and restored, but the more we remove it, the worst it will become to try an fix. At some point is will become irreversible.
I wonder if that point has not already passed for many areas.
Still, logging interest, and other resource driven market factors are at work, I am sort of glad with the economic downturn, it’s halts development and thereby resource and habitat destruction here. I’m sure it’s world wide to some degree.
Funny thing here in CA, the Farmers are all worried and rightly so, about housing developments taking all the land away and their power as well. So it’s a Farmer vs. the Housing developer fight. Then add some water rights issues, they have not even started on water rights yet there in Brazil, but wait, it will happen.
Then where will the Discus, Altums, and zebra plecos go?
Date: 12.19.2008, 07:34 PM – Tom Barr, California, U.S.A.
You are very correct, this hobby is not the issue with fish, it’s likely one of things that will save and sustain the Rainforest.
Without the forest, there will be no fish anyhow.
So why bother going after aquarists and collectors when the real threat is deforestation and over population?
This makes no sense from a legal standpoint to prevent aquarist from collecting.
If anything, ost of the species will be wiped out to extinction and many might be saved by bringing them into the trade.
Such is the case with a number of fish.
You better get out and see and collect while you can.
Why worry about poraching if you have no where for the animals to live and exist? Zoos will be their only home.
Date: 26-sep-2008, 20:54 – M. Solano, Coronado, Costa Rica
Excelente noticia que don Heiko haya vuelto a sus actividades normales.
Esperamos que el show político/mediático que se montó en Brasil a costilla de su nombre y de su libertad no se vuelva a repetir jamás. Apoyo 100% para don Heiko y que siga adelante con sus investigaciones, descubrimientos, conferencias y todo lo que hace por el acuarismo.
Miembro No. 5.614 del American Cichlid Association (ACA)
Principio de locura : Pensar que haciendo lo mismo vas a llegar a algo diferente !!!!
Date: 09-14-2008, 07:18 PM – From USA: forum.simplydiscus.com
Heiko’s arrest demonstrates the irony in many of the countries of the Amazonia. They see nothing in clear cutting the forests (as is happening in Iquitos, Peru these days), allowing dams to be built, mining for precious metals, etc., thus allowing the most precious resource they have to be destroyed: The Amazon itself. They spend money on arresting and imprisoning someone who has done more to introduce people to the beauty, diversity, and complexity of the worlds aquatic environment than all of INPA put together.
I hope this event galvanizes us all to put more pressure on the governments to do more to protect the precious environment of the Amazon.
Anthony I. Mazeroll, Ph.D., Prof. of Biology, Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo, CA
Ichthyology is online now Report Post Reply With Quote
Date : 2008.09.14 (Sun) 10:21 – From Sweden : http://www.aquahobby.com
The Press can be a bit hasty when it comes to famous people and writing news about them without double checking the facts (I know because I use to work for newspapers in the past).
I was very disappointed when I heard the news about your arrest and did even sign the petition about the release (not sure if that would have helped).
You did a lot of good work in your life and contributed to this hobby and science a lot to be treated like that and I am very happy to hear that all this was only press speculation and not the reality.
Welcome to Aqua Hobby Heiko, it sure feels good to have you here Very Happy
Kind regards, Dusko,
Date : 2008.09.14 (Sun) 11:46 – From USA : http://www.aquahobby.com
It’s amazing how the press turns things into smomething they are not.
Nice to see you around Heiko, I look forward to seeing you around the boards more. You have done so much for the hobby and science as a whole, you are an inspiration. It’s great to have you as a member. Very Happy
Heather, New York, USA
Debbi, New Jersey, USA
… The hobby needs researchers like Heiko so that we can all learn what we will never see with our own eyes about the Amazon and its magnificent fish!
Date: Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:50 pm – From the Netherlands: planetcatfish.com/forum
The sensitivity is understandable, and it might be very easy to smuggle a tiny piece of a plant out of Brazil and Plants, crustacea (shell fish), bacteria, these species might be very valuable. But is anyone aware of fish helping research?
Swordtails have been used, I admit, because their black spots are quite alike to melanoma. In fact this resaerch has developed into a cure for (guess what) prostate cancer – but not melanomas. But this is a whole other matter than a toxin form a so and so plant which is a antibioticum – but can be improved. That is where the real money is, and that is where Brazil is, rightfully afraid of.
I think they could spend their money better than bothering research after innocent, but interesting, fish.
Bas Pels, The Netherlands
Date: Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:27 pm – From Germany: s20.webhostingserver.nl
…they need Medals or just publicity for the next vote, it’s a "good" story for the newspapers. Or, and that should not be underrated, if someone plays bad tricks on you. If you are famous, there are always enviers. Sad but true…
If they think first, they wouldn’t act this way, because Heiko did the Brazil / Amazon region a great job in the past. Not only in exploring new fishes, with every new species the country got richer. In very different dimensions like culture and economics. To imprison him was a bad idea for the whole country and the scientific community.
Tobi, Bremen, Germany
Date: Sunday September 7th, 2008, 9:51 pm – From UK : http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/
Discovering new species and cataloging them is great!
I think this practice must continue so that future generations will know what WAS out there.
People like Mr. Bleher should continue to do so,but I think that only People of his caliber may par take of this.
That way any specimens that are collected do not become wasted and only small numbers are removed.
Thus limiting the any real negative impacts on wild populations that would be caused by collecting in larger numbers as for the aquarium trade.
Posted by: Lloyd Sisk
Date: Friday September 5th, 2008, 11:09 am – From UK : http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk
I am sorry but this is all nonsense. As for the people here that back the Brazilian Government your completely crazy and not seeing the bigger picture.
The only reason we have any knowledge of the endangerment of species around the globe has been the passion that hobbyists have had for years in keeping and understanding animals, i.e. the Pet Trade. Now I am not saying it is without it problems but I strongly believe in small quantities of animals being removed for breeding purposes and if this is done for commercial reasons then the more fish there will be. I am well aware that the fish were not alive in this case but that is beside the point. As some bright people have pointed out the deforestation that is going on is wiping out untold species of animals. Global warming will do the same. To force people, even scientists, to leave them alone is NOT helping them in anyway but condemning them to an upcoming doom.
Remember this; When they are gone, extinct, they are gone! No coming back! Scientists look at the bigger picture, politicians do not!
As someone who was running an aquarium store at 13 and an importer/wholesaler with my father for 20 years I can tell you that Brazil has been the most annoying country on the face of the earth! There are so many interesting animals that could be bred in captivity but they refuse to let anyone take even small amounts. All in the name of nature preservation? I think not.
Posted by: Martin Haswell Date: 09-05-2008, 7:49 AM – From USA : http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums
Date: 09-05-2008, 8:49 AM – Pinker, New Jersey, USA
Thanks Lup! That was good to read. The hobby needs researchers like Heiko so that we can all learn what we will never see with our own eyes about the Amazon and its magnificent fish!
Date : Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:56 am – USA : http://angelfishconnection.hqforums.com
Glad to hear that he is out of jail.
Sad that he was arrested in the first place.
I am sure he never did anything out of selfish motive.
He sounds like a very caring man.
From what I know about him ….he has only wanted to help through all his research.
People won’t care how much you " know"….
until they know how much you "care".
Dizzee, Illinois, USA
Date: 09-04-2008, 11:10 AM – USA: www.rainbowfish.info.com
I’m glad it was a short lived imprisonment. I have such tremendous respect for everything this man has done for the planet. I just hope this doesn’t hold him back.
Date: 09-04-2008 at 11:06 PM. From: New Zealand
Heiko Bleher is a world famous ichthyologist explorer. See his blog here: http://www.aquapress-bleher.com/index.php?lang=en
he has done so much, thru his expeditions, seminars and books, for the fishkeeping community. He has also discovered new species of fish throughout his life and has made documentaries and he supplied wholesalers world wide with new species. Some from his own discoveries.
He has done so much work with discus. From all I have read of him he is a great man who has dedicated his life to fish, aquatic plants, and conservation of species threatened with extinction all over the world.
It was sad to read yesterday of his dilemna. http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.u….php?news=1788 and http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.u….php?news=1790
also there is a note from him in this thread: http://www.planetcatfish.com/forum/v…hp?f=2&t=23877
best of luck to Mr Bleher!!
ty planetcatfish and practical fishkeeping.co.uk
"God bless America. God save the Queen. God defend New Zealand and thank Christ for Australia."– Russell Crowe
Date: 09-04-2008, 12:59 AM – From USA: forum.simplydiscus.com
The man is an asset to the Earth, wildlife and fishes… hope the best for a fellow scientist.
Lee, Lawrenceville, Georgia
Date: 09-04-2008, 03:29 PM – From China: forum.simplydiscus.com
My first real post on SimplyDiscus and its good to read your report that you are out of prison. I’ve read your work for many years now on the net ……… never bought a book though…….. but I’m sure this brief spell in custody won’t stop you from your life’s mission to educate the rest of us, and the world, on the bio-diversity of the Amazon.
Looking forward to the real story of your detainment and not the media hype we have been seeing for the last few days.
Keep up the good work.
Paul R., British but living in Shanghai
Date: 09-04-2008, 08:58 PM – From Poland: forum.simplydiscus.com
Me and Chris are sooooooo glad that you and Natasha are out of prison. I hope this nasty incident won’t stop you from great work that you are doing.
Gajowa & Gajowy, Cracow
PS: All members of the Polish Club of Discus Lovers sign the petition, and me, Gajowy and Hudy signed it separately
member of the Polish Club of Discus Lovers (PKMD)
Date: Thursday September 4th, 2008, 12:45 pm – From Brazil : http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk
This is just one more typical action of IBAMA.
In Brazil you can cut an entire forest and therefore to wide out its mammals, birds, insects and tens of the fish species from the nearby rivers.
In this case, "não tem problema" but if you take a single fish alive… you are arrested.
If you have a fishing license, which you can get anywhere, then you are allowed to catch fish, to eat them, or feed your cat with them.
You can even get them alive, if you promise to use them get as bait but, if instead you place them inside an aquarium, you are arrested.
It’s a complete nonsense.
I think the purpose of IBAMA is not to protect wild life. Its purpose is to PRETEND they protect them. In practice, huge areas of Amazonia are daily destroyed, the aquatic biotopes vanish, hundreds of species are being extinct – but they are showing to the world they care a lot! So they arrest people interested in preserving this biological richness in first place, people trying to get the rest of the world aware it, while it still exist.
Of course, Bleher and others follow their own agenda and personal interests, they aren’t saints. But their explorations and activities are what allow science, the hobbyists and the world in general to be aware of those amazing biotopes and species – while they still exist. Posted by: Miguel Figueiredo
Date : Jeu 4 Sep – 22:24 – From France : http://santaremdiscus.forumactif.com
Je suis un peu deçu des paroles un peu dure emises sur celui, qui me semble le plus devoue au discus au monde. Je ne connais pas le business de heiko bleher, mais il me semble qu il est devenu connu dans le monde entier grace à ces decouvertes et ses recherches en milieu naturel.
Ne pas considerer mr bleher comme un pro meme s il ne possede pas de diplomes, il en connait plus sur les poissons en generales que n inporte quelle etudiant veterinaire. Je suis un peu enervé mais j ai l impression que mr bleher nest pas apprecie sur le site. Quand a lIBAMA ? desole mais interpelé une personne qui detiens un specimens mort dans du formol c est une chose mais laisser detruire lesquivalent de dizaine de stade de foot de foret primaire toutes les heures s en est une autre. Pour moi , ce fait divers sent l’embrouille a plein nez.
Euclid, 33290 le pian médoc, France
Date: 09-03-2008, 12:53 PM – From USA: forum.simplydiscus.com
This is crazy! Using their resources to watch a scientist!. Sounds like a waste of time. How about spend some time busting a cocaine lab. I cant imagine being arrested for studying science!. Sounds like they have nothing better to do. Rather than go after criminals they chose to go after a SCIENTIST!. Sounds like they have nothing to do down there, well they do but they are too scared to get rid of real criminals. I hope all goes well in this bass terrible situation.
Date: 09-03-2008, 02:51 PM – From USA: forum.simplydiscus.com
I think its more about disturbing the environment then wasting resources on a scientist. People have been exploiting this area for years so I guess they chose now to make a statement with a high profile person. Doesn’t seem fair, but who said life was fair?
MSD, Long Island, NY
Date: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:54 am – John Arthur
He’s a scientist who has, I’m told, made great contributions to our planet as well as our hobby. If he ran afoul of the law, he probably did so for the sake of research rather than personal gain.
Date: Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:54 am – USA : http://angelfishconnection.hqforums.com
He’s a scientist who has, I’m told, made great contributions to our planet as well as our hobby. If he ran afoul of the law, he probably did so for the sake of research rather than personal gain.
Date: Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:03 am – Sue, Australia
You are so right John. He has done so much for the world of fish.
And not only that, but he has time to converse with normal people like me. And is happy to help in anyway he can. Cool.
Date: 03-Sep-2008, 03:06 PM – from UK: http://www.forum.bidka.org/
I don’t understand whats the big deal about takeing some dead fish with you?? Its not like he was smaggeling drugs! They best consentrate on more important things then FISH! I suspect its not the fish they care about in brazil its money that i think… he meant to pay for the paperwork!
Most Wanted, Birmingham, England
Date: 03-Sep-2008, 04:36 PM – From UK: http://www.forum.bidka.org/
I don’t know if you are aware but some species of fish from the Amazon area are feared being close to extinction because of the way that man is treating the river and its tributaries…. hence the export and import of Zebra plecs (just one example)
Heiko has given a lot to the fish keeping world through his years of exploration and study but just like anything in life one slip up and it can all go wrong in a blink… everyone forgets all the good and remember only the bad…. there is an eco-system in place, remove one level of that and the implications can be vast!
Steve O. West Midlands, UK
Date: Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:34 pm – From Norway: forum.discusnews.com
This is crazy. Let`s hope that the brazilian goverment don`t want to set an example for this new "science law"!!
Morten Garathun-Hansen, Norway
Date: 02/09/2008 08:47 – From Italia: www.mondodiscus.com/discus/forum/
Ammiro Heiko da sempre, ma francamente parlare di "studioso e ricercatore" non mi sembra completamente esatto. Il più grande esploratore conosciuto, un uomo sulla cui vita sarebbe bello farne una fiction (deformazione professionale). Avventura allo stato puro. Ha portato pesci ai più grandi. Ha scoperto varietà su varietà. [email protected]
PS: …io sò ‘n gueriero che sta riposando dopo che ha rivoltato mezzo mondo, ma ormai c’ho il doppiopetto e ‘na cravatta ‘ndo voi che vada (F. Califano)
Date: Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:51 pm – From USA: http://forums.loaches.com
It looks like a set-up for the press. If they suspected the guy was "smuggling"–they could of just asked him to get the correct permissions.
They should be happy for someone else to do the work of collecting and characterizing the fish. The knowledge will go into the public domain whatever way its discovered.
Date: Tuesday September 2nd, 2008, 8:10 pm – From Brazil : http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk
This is Brazil. The country that doesn’t let you have guns and make you pay 60%+ of your earnings to the government.
Heiko Bleher did nothing wrong. He is just suffering in the hands of the brazilian statism. It’s pure and applied jungle politics, nothing else…
I hope he doesn’t suffer in the hands of the diabolic federal agents we have here.
If things keep going this way property private, freedom and peace are to be made completely out-of-law here… Posted by: Henrique Pinto
Date: 09-02-2008 – Marius, Dragonfish, Montreal, Canada,
… Although a stain on the name he’s built for so long, Heiko is still one of the major names in research, he dedicated so many years of his life for this and I for one hope that the authorities over there will adopt him as a national treasure for how many contributions he brought to the world.
Date : Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:16 pm – From India : http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com
I think its a conspiracy against Haiko. The man who did so much work on rain forest break the laws is totally unthinkable. Anyhow, lets hope he will be free from this legal hassle very soon.
Kaushik, Indore, india
Date: Sep-2-2008 12:20AM – From Canada: http://www.pricenetwork.ca/showthread.
The government of Brazil is insane, corrupt, and lays these types of charges against people who are obviously interested in science and even sometimes in rehabilitating orphaned animals- and turns a blind eye to ships full of wood stolen from the rainforest , year after year.
It seems like they were researching, not for trade in live animals.
monkey researcher chargedhttp://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/…uly/000228.html
A wing of a museum in Spain was built using wood from the pirating companies
and the same couple of companies were raided just last year in a mock cleanup.
so the Genius of the Government of Brazil can figure out that Heiko is interested in and dedicated to booking as many species as possible, but they can’t figure out how the couple of companies safely export the ranforest wood year after year.
Heiko has done more for the natural sciences than a thousand governments of Brazil ever would.
Horst Linke also was jailed , for a short time, but that was a while ago.
Heiko Bleher blog article http://fishaliciousfish.blogspot.co…iko-bleher.html
Ragian R., Canada
Date: Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:27 pm – From USA: planetcatfish.com/forum
…Politics are almost certainly behind this. Heiko has been critical of Brazilian environmental policies and practices, yet has always praised the Brazilian people.
It is extremely unlikely this incident is a coincidence, nor due to the efforts of a diligent civil servant. It is a warning shot fired across the bow of all those who would be out spoken critics of Brazil’s lack of real concern for conservation yet still dare visit Brazil and perform any science.
Being held without bail! I am sure they easily made a convincing argument that as an international explorer, Heiko and Natasha presented high flight risks. That is so much a presumption of guilt approach than most Western Common Law.
Business as usual….
Larry Waybright, Clarkston WA 9940
Date: Mon Sep 01, 2008 1:21 pm – From the Netherlands: planetcatfish.com/forum/
I don’t envy him…..the poor bastard
If they tossed him in prison between the gang members and the drug runners, he’s likely to be killed or raped by HIV positive, in short, that would be a death sentence……. all because he likes to study fish.
It’s not like he’s importing AK47’s or running a gang of street kids dealing drugs and robbing tourists.
But I can see a clear pattern emerging here. and it’s not good.
Brazil has real trouble running the economy, the preservation (or rather destruction rate) of the Rainforest, the problems with the indeginous tribes which don’t like their home burned out from Under their feet, the corruption of the police force, the selling out of the environment to big developers, you name it.
what better to avoid unwanted vote-costing attention of the media by diverting it?
Looks like they took a leave from the US and EU media which are pretty good at this.
Nationalism is also a symptom of a really screwed up society. it is also a diversion, because it creates an "Us vs. Them" mindset, which is pretty handy when the elections come around (October 2008). Politicians hate elections as a rule, cause nothing bothers them more than a bunch of arbeiter (workers) sending them home with a negative voting result.
So there’s a free-for-all mentality when it comes to playing the national conscience. And showing who’s boss to forgeiners is a widely used practice in countries around the globe.
Like Mugabe for example. looks like Lula reads the news from Zimbabwe.
Tthere’s also another thing wich I already pointed at in another topic.
By stripping scientific research and stopping the export of tropical animals from the rainforest the place looses economical and scientific value. If it is in effect "worthless" it can be destroyed by big multinationals who own the politicians, because the only money to be made is short term profit: hardwood, soja, cattlegrazing, dam-building; not long term goals like species conservation, scientific research and so on.
Looks like the Brazilian government is at least as cynic as I am and of course a lot more powerful. makes me sick, really.
Alex aka SG, Sid Guppy, NW European Floodplains; Rhine Delta
Date: Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:42 pm – From Germany: planetcatfish.com/forum
I don’t know Heiko Bleher personally, but he is born in my hometown Frankfurt/Germany. I can’t believe that he will do anything like biopiracy – he ist addicted to understand nature and especially fishes. These IBAMA officials uses H. Bleher to make an example: Foreign Scientist keep out of Brasil an don’t steel the knowledge whitch we are searching for! We don’t need your help!
I really hope he’s not in jail – but anyway – arresting scientists shows a very poor understanding of what is really on the agenda for Brasil. If there is a law against unapproved research, this law ist just stupid, to enforce this law by criminalizing foreign scientifics is a scandal.
The problem is, somebody told them that nature has material values, and that people can "own" creatures by patenting them. Now these countries act like crazy, to stop this loss of "natural capital". Unfortunately this stupid idea was not born in Brasil!
In my opinion, aquarists all over the wold owes a lot to H. Bleher an people like him, it is now time make sure, that treating people in this way goes much to far … please help to spread this discussion – thank you
Date: 08/30/2008 11:17 PM – From Brazil: reefcentral.com/forums
Due Brazilian laws against biopiracy , mr. Heiko Bleher is in jail since aug 29, http://noticias.uol.com.br/album/08…htm?abrefoto=30
He is one of most important person for aquarilogy in whole world. I don´t know how to help him and Natascha now , but if anyone know their families and how to help them , please forward this message.
Unfortunally Brazilian laws and marshalls does not know this important man for us, so please help him !
Spread these words…
Thanks a lot
Reinaldo, Sao Paulo
Date: September 2008 – From: en.microcosmaquariumexplorer.com
"Heiko has a world-class ego, but he certainly is not guilty of pilfering Brazil’s biological treasures," said a colleague who asked to remain anonymous while Bleher was incarcerated.
"He has done business and research in that country for years, and there is much more to this misadventure than him simply getting caught smuggling. If it was meant to stifle his advocacy for the Brazilian rainforests, it was a pretty heavy handed act of political intimidation that the aquarium community should see for what it is."
Date: 2 Weeks Ago – From Canada: www.bcaquaria.com/forum
Not saying anything about Brazil, but at his caliber he might have been "forced" to do that because the "tax" for the permit might have been higher and higher each time.
Although a stain on the name he’s built for so long, Heiko is still one of the major names in research, he dedicated so many years of his life for this and I for one hope that the authorities over there will adopt him as a national treasure for how many contributions he brought to the world.
Marius, Montreal/Vancouver, Canada
Some comments on the 600plus www.petitiononline.com:
598. Chris Meachen: Are there not any proper criminals to pursue?
586. Luigi Tartaglia: è un arresto ingiusto.
577. Andres M. Mendiondo: Me parece que no deberían entorpecer el trabajo de gente que se dedica a estudiar y a ayudarnos a entender mejos los biotopos, deberian ocuparse de evitar la porqueria que estan haciendo con el amazonas principalmente con la desforestacion y la contaminacion. Saludos
567. Joshua Anderson: Drop the ridiculous charges now. Heiko’s expeditions have certainly helped your country’s economy by popularizing many of your native fish species in the aquarium hobby and generating interest in Bio-tourism for your country. That, and he is a conscientious environmentalist whose first concern is preserving native habitats and species.
564. Judy Sparkes: Heiko has done wonderful things for the fish hobby and fish in the wild. Leave him alone!
549. Juan J. Flores MD phD: poyo total para la liberacion de Heiko, por su brillante trayectoria academica internacional.
543. Alex Flores: I had the honor and great experience of seeing Heiko Bleher work. His work is evidently purely scientific: this is proved by the hundreds and hundreds of scientific publications and by his activism as a protector of what is left of the natural world. It would be a great loss that Heiko Bleher is not freed and also that he is not allowed to continue with his incredibly needed research.
529. Nikos Drosos: Imprizonment of scientists who are only trying offer knowledge to the world is totally wrong. Please free Heiko Bleher!
517. Carmelo De Giorni: non è un pirata ma solo un grande esploratore amante della natura.
469. Paul Carter: this man and his wife would never break the law knowingly.
455. Kenneth Gordon: Think About It. The world is watching you.
428. Dragos Malaeru: For Brazilian Goverment: Shame on you!
426. Loan Carja: Sper ca cei raspunzatori de arestarea lui Heiko isi vor da seama la timp de greseala pe care au facut-o si nu se vor face mai departe de rusinea lumii.
In German: Ich kann nur hoffen dass die jenigen die Heiko fehleingeschaetzt haben ihren Fehler rechtzeitig erkennen und sich nicht weiter die Schande der Menschheit zuziehen.
424. George Stafylarakis: he saves the planet…
421. Vern Smith: Detaining scientists from other nations does nothing to further your own scientific goals or standing in the world.
415. Gordon Mcneil: one of the pioneers of discus study/breeding helping keep this spiecies from extinction and preservation for generations to admire.
411. Joe Mc elheron: shame on you Brazil shame on you.
409. Geroge Kaltoytoumidis: same on the Brazilian authorities.
406. DI LAORA ANTONIO E MARIELLA: free Heiko e Natasha big men end big women.
402. Abdulkerim ERGEN: Free Heiko the world owes him.
397. John N Hair: His work benifits conservation efforts in your country !
396. Ulrich Alsfasser: Heiko Bleher is a scientist not a smuggler of wildlife.
395. Luke Davies: Please let this couple go, without people like these, a lot of the worlds wildlife, with which a high percentage is South American would not be very well understood. They are legends.
393. Tom Jensen, Denmark: Heiko do work for the world.
381. Paul Adams: Madness, absolute madness.
376. Tony Vaughan: Free Heiko and his travel companions – He has brought South America to the world in his books and lectures. He does more for South American tourism than any single government.
374. Dusko Bojic: free this great man!
371. Juha Tuukkanen: Free this great explorer.
363. Stephen Ogden: What a farce.
360. Klaus Koch: Ich halte sehr viel von HEIKO BLEHER und seinen Erfahrungen als Wissenschaftler, das man bei dem Wissen auch mal Fehler machen kam möchte man in nachsehen!
354. Dimitris Drakonakis: In Democratic countries like Greece, we respect GREAT PEOPLE who have offered many things to the whole humanity. Do the same. Release Heiko. He is just a scientist, not a criminal.
343. Deepak Nopany: Heiko Bleher’s actions may kindly be condoned by the Brasilian Government considering his contribution to the Industry and his integrety.
335. Bob Dens: I thought that Brazil was an open minded country with scientific background…???? Free Heiko & Natasha!!!
334. Christian Moscarell: Brazil is out of their minds.
322. Dave Townley: Without Heiko’s work the aquatic life in South America wouldn’t be as valuable, the Brazillian goverment should honour his work not arrest him.
319. Nicklaus Karvounis: Befreien Sie Herrn Bleher und seine Frau. Die Forscher haben jedes Recht in der Rettung des Planeten.
315. John Crawford: Heiko is a scientist, Not a CRIMINAL.
307. Mihai Victor: This great man did so much good things for Brazil! Free Mr. Heiko Bleher and Mrs. Natasha Khardina!
294. CARERI SANDRINO: BLEHER IS THE BEST INDIANA JOHNES.
287. Marg Scott: This whole situation is ludicrous !!. What was he going to do with two dead Fish, other than research for gods sake !!
285. Kenneth Thomson: This is an outrage and we should shout about it at the highest levels.
283. Sandy Ascari: there is no way that Mr. Heiko would smuggle the fish, it’s impossible. I think it is only he forget to declare.
280. Marios Voulgaris: Are they really serious not to see that they want to hide something??
279. Rosdi Bin Ahmad: Free him. Fish not belong to Brazilian, belong to GOD.
260. John Ashfield: Will people come back to Brazil if this is going to happen.
253. Katerina: this action takes you back to the medieval ages.
252. Chris Ingham: Let them both go and stop real villians. Outrageous.
247. Usman: hi I know Mr. Heiko from a source of website I read and saw many his articles he is a good man of source.
246. Terry Homer: free this great man and spend money arresting drug dealers and thugs.
235. Andrew Zournis: you must catch the risponsibles and not those that protect nature.
231. Erwin Schraml: science is free.
228. Wilhelm Lubkowitz: Let him go. Get the big companies who hat destroying the Amazonas in prison instead!
226. Fanny: They’ve done THE GREATEST JOB for world that not many people can do. Don’t the IBAMA and Brazilian see?!
224. Golemis Giorgos: GO AND CATCH THE DRUG DEALERS…LEAVE THE PHYSICIANS ALONE!!!!
221. Carl Groves: This is crazy, he has done nothing wrong and a whole lot of good.
212. Pristella: IT’S NOTHING if we compare with HE HAS DONE for WORLD OF SCIENCE!!!
209. Julia Mansfield: Wherever would we be without these Scientists doing their various work and experinents, there would be no antibiotics??? These governmental people ought to look to the future, and take off their blinkers.
206. Sujoy Banerjee: Please free him… His contribution to exploration is simply great for us to ignore…..Change the law….
188. Ognen Polenak: FREE Heiko this world needs such scientists!
178. Herman Oei: Brazilian goverment must release Heiko and Natasha as a appreciation for what Heiko has done in whole of his life life for classification of South American native fishes. Think positive! Brazilian Goverment must see the reality how many fishes from Brazilian river are found and name with Heiko’s names. I hope this case will be considered very fairly, it is NOT SMUGGLING. The deforestation of Brazilian forest is THE BIGGEST PROBLEM than arrested Heiko FOR ONLY FEW DEATH FISHES. The deforestation can make extinction thousand species of fishes that still has not been clasified and BILLION OF FISHES that is THE REAL CRIME!!!. May God Bless Brazilian Goverment to think again!
157. Christos Mavroeidis: shame!!
155. Ashwin Sukumaran: Don’t be ridiculous! This man has done so much for science.
133. Vyas: Free Heiko Bleher for the sake of sciente.
131. Dogibeer: Free ibama!!
108. Haji Badaruddin: Boycott Brazilian product as a sign of protest.
104. Lynne Robertson: this is ridiculous! What century are we living in?
101. Miles Bergsma: Free Heiko – he is a great man of science.
82. Ingo Bader. DFG Fellow, Technical University Berlin, Germany.
78. Tatore – Salvo: Maybe one of the few people that lives for the Amazonian enviroment defense… come on, and wake up, IBAMA – Heiko and Natasha. We are with you!!!
76. Neale Watson: Dr. Bleher is a great researcher and should be freed as soon as possibile.
70. Seamus Gillespie Jnr: this man is a specialist in this field doing research to ensure the survival of these and many other species of fish, his credentials are known worldwide, release him now you know its a stupid mistake arresting him
68. Fons van der Hart: Free this man asap. He’s a great explorer and works for the benefit of the world.
64. Ivanov Boris: Shame on Brazilian Goverment.
63. Manos Matsakis: Such acts can only lead to extreme negative publicity for Brasil. Heiko is a "star" all around the world… Free Heiko NOW!
59. Ciprian Marcu: It’s a bad joke to arrest a man who speaks to the world on on global warming, destruction of rain forests and possible improvements for ‘smuggle’ fish. Strange indeed. Free Heiko!
22. Ioannis Skouras: In 2008 it’s not only ridiculous what you’re attempting to do, but also the means you use. You will of course fail!
8. Ross Chapman: I feel that the incarceration of this leading researcher is completely inappropriate and can only harm the Brazilian Government… To penalise a world renowned scientist and explorer is silly to say the lease and definately irresponsible.
2. Nidal Rezeq: Free the greatest Amazon Expeditioner of all.
1. Dimitris Lysikatos: The hole thing is riddiculus! Free Heiko NOW!!!!