On the third Friday in May, thousands of people around the world participate in Endangered Species Day by celebrating, learning about, and taking action to protect threatened and endangered species.
Heritage Brazil is very excited to create new approaches to luxury goods via the usage of eco-materials that deliver high quality and exquisite beauty.
Pirarucu (arapaima gigas) is the largest freshwater fish in the world and lives in the Amazon river. Pirarucu skin leathers are luxurious, and quite stunning due to the structure of their scales. The protection of the Pirarucu fish, the ecosystems and the respect for people and nature are the core pillars of the tannery from which we source our skins. Through sustainable fishing methods, the pirarucu fish, once close to extinction, had an increase in its population in rivers and lakes of over 425 percent in the past two decades. Pirarucu is a byproduct of the fish processing industry, therefore a repurposed material that would have otherwise been discarded.
Pirarucu is one of the true Green leathers in the world!
THE AMAZING PIRARUCU (Arapaima gigas) LEATHER
The giant Amazon fish, Pirarucu or Arapaima, is one of the biggest freshwater fish in the world! It can reach 6’ and beyond.
Pirarucu is a staple food in the Amazon basin for thousands of years. Fishing used to be unregulated and contributed to the decline of the Species. In 1999 it was declared an Endangered Species worldwide and is now protected aggressively in Brazil.
The skin of the Pirarucu used to be discarded as a by-product of the food industry but it is now becoming a beautiful exotic leather in demand the world over.
In accordance with the Fish & Wildlife regulations under the Protected Species Act (CITES), by processing only tracked and regulated skins, we are helping to ensure the preservation of the species, while generating income and environmental responsibility for the local families.
The fishing of Pirarucu is regulated by the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA*), which tracks down all its products from the suppliers that maintain international sanitary regulations and well-being practices, helping protect the fish, the fishermen families, and their environment.
Sustainable management of Pirarucu / Preserving the Amazon
As shown in the chart above, the sustainable management of Pirarucu in the Amazon region has shown that, in the last twenty years, it has been possible to balance the Species conservation with its productive use, with positive social, economic and ecologic impacts.
Following management, natural fish stocks increased by 427% on average, with an annual increase of 25%.
The management of Pirarucu harvest was recognized as the best income-generation initiative of wetland areas in the Americas, by the award given by the secretary of RAMSAR convention of the United Nations in February of 2011.
In 2017, the fishing of Pirarucu generated substantial individual earnings for the local fishermen in the Amazon. On a household level, this represents 40% of total income generated by fishing activity.
A decision was also made to increase the number of fishermen who adhere to these management protocols which created more Associations and fishermen unions dedicated to the conservation of Pirarucu.
Participation rose from 42 fishermen from 4 communities originally to 1,590 fishermen, participating in 12 conservation projects, including residents from 43 communities.
Heritage Brazil is proud to help the conservation of Pirarucu by buying our skins from one of the most environmentally friendly tannery in Brazil, with one of the lower carbon footprint in the world.
A true pioneer in the field of Organic, metal-free tanning, they combine extremely well crafted Pirarucu leathers with the utmost respect for the surrounding ecosystems. The tanning process is driven by an eco-pragmatic approach, from the 100% environmentally safe, organic tanning to the natural dyeing in aniline. No heavy metals nor harsh chemicals are used in their processes and all solid residues from production are composted.