Heiko Bleher Freed

From Microcosm Aquarium Explorer

Jump to: navigation , search

According to a report by Practical Fishkeeping, Heiko Bleher and his photographer and companion Natasha Khardina were released from a Brazilian prison after three and a half days in what he says is "the worst prison on the planet."

Heiko Bleher collecting.

Bleher claims that IBAMA, the Brazilian environmental agency, was not involved in the matter, contrary to a press release issued by IBAMA itself.

According to Bleher, he broke no laws in attempting to leave the country with a number of dead fish specimens preserved in alcohol.

Writing on the forum Rainbowfish Info, Bleher stated his side of the story, saying his arrest was politically motivated with a Brazilian election coming next month:

"IBAMA has known me and my work for decades. Their president has dined with me and travelled in my chartered plane, free of charge, has many of my publications. Suddenly they (say that they) have been searching for me since last year. What a joke and a lie.

"In addition they make statements without having verified facts, like that there are new species, but they have no capacity to examine the specimens therefore gave them now to the INPA for them to do the work. Quite strange.

"In addition they know very well that a dead small fish does not and cannot be of any economic value to anyone - it only serves the purpose of identification / classification so we know more about the biodiversity of our planet."