Motor boat ambi
NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
8 Apr 1999
- near Las Guacamayas Biological Research Station; San Pedro River
- 17.24667 -90.29306
- 4:50 - 18:13
- Las Guacamayas Biological Research Station
- 17.24667 -90.29306
- 30:19 - 55:09
- near Las Guacamayas Biological Research Station; San Pedro River
- 17.24667 -90.29306
- 58:42 - 1:41:47
Stereo=2: 1=L, 2=R; Decoded MS stereo
NPR/NGS RADIO EXPEDITIONS
GUATEMALA - APRIL 1999
VG = very good
G = good
NG = no good
NG 00:17 lots of chatter mostly in spanish, some splashing in water
2:32 ?? oh the maps - you need -
2:59 guy talking in the clear in spanish
3:08 boat motor start - talking on top, some faint talking
3:43 loading something onto boat -
3:46-5:16 boat motor, talking
5:17 increase in boat motor, faint talking
5:45 boat motor ¿facing forward¿ - ok, some faint talking in bg
6:51 boat slows down - OK - some faint talking in bg
7:15 boat picks up speed again
8:30 boat slows down . @ 9:01 even slower
9:202 shift in motor sound
9:29 boat picks up speed
9:56 ¿facing backwards towards motor¿ - talking is clearer
10:14 boat slows down
11:22 another boat passes by - louder motor sound
OK 12:25 ¿facing front¿ of boat
13:23 load banging? Good FX to get feeling of being on boat - OK thru 14:18 Tom S? in bg? - thru 16:32 some good boat - ok for an ambi bed
16:33 change in boat motor sound - not as loud, talking in bg
17:30 boat slows down again, talking louder
18:08 boat stops, some wind noise and talking,
18:49 G FX - chains on board? No more motor sound¿people getting off of boat
20:28 FX clank
20:42 gracias! (woman says this) faint talking in spanish
20:55 boat going off in distance?
21:16 clearer boat driving away, then ambi from area thru 21:47
23:31 going into the comedor - people talking - eng and span¿.
24:19 frying? - cooking¿lots of talking in sp in bg
24:59 pounding something? Tortillas? W/talking in bg, laughing - OK to use to get feeling of place¿..27:55 whistling in bg
28:17 - louder talking, louder frying and patting of the tortillas
28:48-29:42 G cooking
30:23 Leeanne - the car trip was actually much longer than expected - the road was much better than a couple of months ago - in the rainy season you have to take horses - but it was very bumpy but par for the course for getting into the field 30:37
30:38CJ - how does it feel to arrive at a place like this after a trip like that - it is so beautiful
30;42 Leeanne (LA) - it is great - what a relief - it is worth - it is definitely worth the trip. I think everbody thinks so
30:50 CJ - how many time have you been here?
30:51 LA - this is my second time only - the station has only been in operation about maybe 2 months. Bc it was burned down a couple of yrs ago and they just recently rebuilt it and just inaugurated the station 2 wks ago
31:07 CJ - why was it burned down?
LA - well, the other guys can tell you better than me. .. well, there was this road put in to go to the oil wells, and a lot of colonists have now moved in along the road and the colonist have felt that CI was posing a threat to them in terms of trying to keep them out of the park which is kind of true but we aren¿t doing anything directly w/the people, but they were afraid of our actions here and came and burned the station and took some hostages but I think they have quite good relationship with those people now. They are mostly the people from Naranjo who we have actually hired to help us with this trip with the boat men and they have just opened a visitors center there as well. It is very important for them to have good community relations and they are working on that. 31:53
CJ -what is the plan now?
31:56 LA - The plan now is to get settled in, have lunch. Get settled into the rooms. Figure out who is sleeping where and then we will take some boat rides up and down the river to check out where will be our first sampling site. tonight we have a mtg - get everybody to know each other and get the groups to finalize their methodologies at least the first couple of sites. Have a kind of inauguration party and then tomorrow we will head out and start with the first sampling site. 32:24
32:25 CJ and this will be the first AquaRAP in the Peten?
LA - yes - they have done a few studies here. Mostly terrestrial. But they have not focused at all on aquatic systems. But that is what our focus is this time - looking at mostly aquatic insects and fish, water quality and terrestrial organisms that are associated with water. Aquatic birds and bats 32:49
34:11-37:53 ambi in the area - people talking in the kitchen, some `patting¿ (tortillas?)
39:04 general ambi at camp site? - some faint birds - walking in bg - some tent zippers, people talking faintly in bg (in sp)
40:53 - can hear CJ in bg talking - thru 41;12
41:52-58:16 CJ setting up his tent @ 43:37 ¿motel 6 it ain¿t¿ ¿¿ok - this will be home for the next 4 days¿ @G 52:04 rustling and zipper @54:44 zipper @55:07 zipper @57:19 zipper
58:36 BC - this is this blanco - the cichlid fish - about 12 inches long - and look at all the spines. And what is amazing about this fish is not only is it delicious to eat but the jaw extrusion is phenomenal - how it slings its upper jaw forward and it makes a tube and it uses this tube. You see it is here it is about 2 inches around and that tube is used to suck in little fishes what ever it is going to eat it uses suction. Opens its little mouth and does it. but the amazing thing if we measure it, just using our fingers here - that the amount that it swings out, it¿s upper jaw is about equal to its normal head length 59:27
CJ - it is about 2 inches long
BC - 2 inches or more
CJ - it looks pretty grotesque actually
59:31 BC - it is - but the thing from the conservation point of view is that if I were to hold up an African cichlid that they promote for aquaculture it looks just like this. And doesn¿t taste any better than this. And one of the issues that we are facing down here is why not promote the fishes that live here indigenously as a - for food items.
CJ - and how does it taste?
59:58 BC - just delicious
CJ - not like chicken?
BC - no! not like chicken. It taste like pan fish or a very delicate, flaky white flesh. When it is fried up and breaded - a little bit of corn meal, onions, white wine, cold. You have got it! and the other thing that we have got here - just to show you - and I have never seen - is a cat fish - and this fish is amazing. This is a north american cat fish, the genus ictalordus (?). it is a blue catfish. There is a debate about whether it is a different species from the blue cat fish that lives in North America bc of the black stripe that you see on the tail around the end. 1:00:45 But if it is not a new species, this species goes from Hudson Bay, Canada, to here.
CJ - wow.
1:00:53 BC - you know, living in all the fresh waters all the way. What we do know about this is that there are fossils of these things going back about 10 million yrs ago and that bony elements, the serration¿s on the spine - I don¿t know if you can see that right here.
CJ - yeah, I can feel that -
BC - you can feel that? That these serrations preserve very well in the fossil record. 1:01:14 and the fossil records for these spines goes back about 10 million yrs. So for certain elements there has been about 10 mil yrs of history w/out any morphological change at all. It is an amazing fish, and we caught this on a - while trolling - and I have never seen a catfish this big - what this is about 14 inches - 15 inches - something like that - I have never seen one like this, captured by trolling before. 1;01:39
CJ - Bc they are usually on the bottom
BC - 1:01:41 Usually on the bottom, eating. Eating bottom things. But they are very voracious predators and they get a good bit larger in NAm down in the southern limits. If you put your finger down on the topside you can feel - you can feel - they have velcro like teeth (CJ - right) and they use that to hold on to - they have two pads of teeth, one on the bottom and one on the top and they use that to hold on to the prey that they catch, manipulate it and swallow it. 1:02:07
1:02:31 - 1:03:02 ambi in the area
1:04:31 ¿Let¿s fish!¿ (BC???) - **in the clear, but talking behind
1:05:51 BC - my name is Barry Chernoff and I work on fishes of Central and South America (a lot of clanking in bg¿..talking, but ok)
1:06:13 CJ - so you locate - every time you catch a fish you locate the spot on GPS
1:06:18 BC - Every station we try to locate to get a picture of the environment and what is going on where (boat motor starts up). Now we have this tradition it is off ? - TURNED OFF -
1:07:30 shouting in sp - getting ready to take off?
Man - off mike - that one is too big for that
1:07:54 CJ - it is the only one I got
JN?BC? he is going to try it
?? - it will be good to try it - you might catch something enormous off that 1:08:00
talk about fishing rods?
Jim Nations (JN)
1:08:14 JN? The really interesting thing about the Las Guacamayas Biological Research Station is that this is an area inside Laguna del Tigre National BREAK IN TAPE - so you have got what scientists call an (watch beeping in bg) ecotome /tounge(?) or 2 diff ecosystems that come together and that edge - that ecotome? - gives you a mixture of species from both sides and it gives you a very biologically rich region - the reason that Conservation International comes to this place in the first place 1:08:44
1:08;45 chatter on boat - sp, motor running
1:09:04 BC - but the amazing thing - TALK ON BOAT - motor running - ¿..
1:10:37 BC - ok - catch one!
1:10;40 Talk in spanish¿¿
1;13:24 JN (?) - any time I come to the biologically station I bring my fishing pole bc this is a great place to catch fish to eat and to see what is there really. One of the things that we are worried about is the nets that fisherman are putting up btwn here and essentially the gulf of Mexico. Bc if people spread gill nets which is the practice all the way across the river they catch everything that goes across it like a vacuum cleaner in the river. And they are essentially wiping out the potential for those fish to go up river to reproduce. Produce a lot of new fish that come back down river¿1:14:06 some of them are fish that go all the way out into the ocean and come back up here to breed and some of them are fish that move up and down the river, and we are interested of course in both types, but most of all we are interested in seeing the continuity in the evolution of those fish, that those fish continue to live for future generations of human beings and future generations of fish. what we don¿t want to see is a vacuum cleaning of the river so that you don¿t have the benefit of the protein efficient future generations. 1:14:40 so coming out here to the biological station is a little bit of investigation of what is out there. For ex today we caught for the first time, trolling, we caught a catfish, which Barry Chernoff, who is a fish specialist said this is the first time he has ever seen a catfish caught trolling lures through the water. And then we caught here what is call locally the Blanca which is a very good edible fish which is common to catch trolling, but you always come up with something new and you always come back with dinner or lunch at the end of the day.1:15:14
CJ - Is your interest more than just classifying the kind of fish that are here but it is also determining whether it is a resource for people in this region?
1:15:23 JN Our goal is to keep it alive. If we can best keep it alive by demonstrating that the best thing to do is loose it or use it then that is what we are interested in doing. Knowing that the northern dept of the peten is under a lot of demographic pressure that there are people moving into this area from all regions of Guatemala and even in other countries is to know that this area has to produce food and housing and water for a lot more people that live here today. If we could do that and also simultaneously conserve the biological diversity in this area not only for the people of Guatemala but for the world n large than we are doing our job bc we are thinking here in terms of decades and centuries. The biological diversity that we as conservationists are able to help people protect locally and carry into the future is the only biological diversity that human beings are going to have for the rest of all our history. Anything that we loose in the next couple of decades is lost forever. 1:16:28
1:16:29 CJ - why pick the peten when you have limited resources to do these rapid assessments - what is it about this area of guat. and the peten that really attracts you to this spot.
1:16:43 JN - 2 things come together in the Peten. One is that biologically it is very important - it is an area that receives about a billion migratory birds coming out of Canada and the US every year, that come here in winter and reproduce and then go back up north. Reptiles, birds, fish, the scarlet macaw, incredible biological diversity in the area. Simultaneously the area in under incredible pressure from human activities. Colonization from people coming out of other areas of Guat. and other countries. 1:17:23 BREAK - chris asks people to be quiet in bg¿. 1:17:34 JN - the Peten is important for 2 reasons, the first one is bio. div. that the area has. The fact that this area is rich in fish and reptiles and birds like the scarlet macaw, all sorts of mammals, amphibians. An area that we are just starting to understand - what is out there. That is the reason that the AquaRAP team has come here, to do the first basic of what exactly area we dealing with in this area. We know that it is biologically rich. What we don¿t know is exactly what species exist here. What we also know that the area is under incredible pressure from human activities from colonization. Not only from farmers coming out of the highlands and moving down into the lowlands looking for land where they can grow crops, but also oil production that builds roads and produces roads that goes - that flows into the veins of western civilization. 1:18:26
1:18:26 CJ - and when you build roads people go
JN - it is classic - wherever you build a road in a tropical forest people are going to follow that road. It is not bc they are malicious or that they like destroying nature, it is bc they are just trying to do what you and I would do - they are just trying to keep their kids alive. 1:18:41 the question is, what is the best way for people to do that. How can we allow people - how can we figure out a way - how can we work with local people so that they can produce the food and the income that they need - keep their kids alive in a way that also preserves nature for them and for future generations. If we just keep the next generation alive all we have done is simply that. But we have wiped out the rest of human history from here on. We have to think not only for the next decade, but for the next century.
1:19:13 Cj - and how many places can you do this? I mean, again, you don¿t have unlimited resources
1;19:18 JN - The quick answer to that is every place that you can. Bc every place is imp. There are some places that are more imp than others, it is what conservation intnal calls the hot spots - the 25 areas that we have picked out - that if we conserve the bio. Div in those 25 hot spots essentially you have conserved about 75 or 85% of the bio d. on the planet. If we can achieve that in the next 40 yrs, we can carry forward into human history a good quantity of the inheritance of the goods that we have recd ourselves. If we waste that - if we destroy that, then we are destroying not only the biologically foundation not only for our generation but for the rest of humankind. 1:20:02
1:20:10 - 1:20:42 ambi in area (talking resumes in bg on and off)
1:21:01 BC - ¿.(cut off?) and think it has no intrinsic value, but in fact this is the area that a lot of the food fishes use as nursery habitat. The water comes up during the rainy season and it comes up and the fishes spawn in the rivers (sp in bg) and their larvae, their juveniles, wash into that and they use that as nursery grounds where they grow up and become healthy. And people do not understand the relationship between these types of areas and they fisheries in the rivers.
CJ - it is like spartina on the bays¿.
1:21:40 BC - exactly so¿.it is a swamp. It has a lot of saw grass and cotton tail and things that we see in the US and their southern relatives, but it is a place that is used not only are there a lot of swampy areas that a lot of things live during their whole life times, but the really - the critical value of that in part is that where the fishes - of many of the big food fishes like the petenia that we see and some of the curacas which are the big carasaform (?) fishes that people eat here. Many species use that as a nursery area and it is not recognized by many local communities and the fisherman and once they understand this they want to preserve those areas bc to not do so would be fatal, bc you wipe out. Bc you wipe out the ability for the fishes to reproduce naturally in the areas that you have. 1:22:42 that is something that is really misunderstood. These people have never heard of this before and I saw this immediately based on our experience in south america and these are the places. Water also - this also provides a lot of other services - of trapping sediment and a lot of pollution and clearing up water bc it acts as a natural sponge and a filter when water comes in and water goes out. So these are really critical zones to protect and everybody focuses on the forests that we see to the left side, and those should be protected too, but these types of habitats are really critical for preservation of biodiversity as well as for the protection of the water that a lot of the human communities are dependent on. 1:23;35
1;23;57 BC - it is amazing - people come and burn these places get their cattle into them¿(Cj -but cattle can¿t eat any of it) no so they burn it and they let the primary grasses come back and they graze their cattle on it. but actually the dollar value of the fisheries is much greater than the cattle. You have been looking in the water and you see lots of these tiny fishes. Many of those sell in our woolworths or our walmarts whatever for 75 cents or 99 cents
CJ - for bait?
1;24:30 BC - for aquarium fishes in the US, also europe and japan.
CJ - what are they? Cichlids?
1:24;35 BC - no - here they are picilieds (?) but they are just these ornamental fishes and if you calculate out their value, at 75 cents, those things are 11 times more valuable than as a cow. And it is a renewable resource and you don¿t have to burn out the environment
1:24:59 CJ - is it as easy to harvest as a cow is easy to harvest?
BC - if you don¿t mind the mud, yeah, it is as easy to harvest as a cow - a lot less blood involved 1;25;15
CJ - but it is a new thing. People are used to tradition and not changing your way.
1:25:23 BC - that right and that is the difficult thing and for us as americans and people from another country we never - as part of AquaRAP- we never want to be in the position of telling people what to do. What we want to do is provide information so that local communities, the peoples who live in this region as well as govt agencies and not for profit orgs can make wise decisions. We are not in the habit of telling people what to do1:25:54
1:26:04 BC - that would be - based on our history, rather hypocritical. But the imp point is that we didn¿t have the info of what the alternatives are and we are trying to present reasonable info about what they would like their country to look like in the future times and make those decisions with that info in hand. That is all we can ask.
1:26:31 Cj - Is there a particular argument in hand that is effective?
1;26;36 BC - well, you know, not so much here but in other countries in south america the fact of the mater is that and even here that - many people do not realize the extent to which people depend on the resources in the water. Like the fishes. In south america in a couple of rivers I have calculated the value of the fisheries to exceed 1.1 billion dollars per yr at 2 dollars a lb of fish cleaned out and the point is that there is no dam in the world that generates more than 1.1 billion dollars worth of electricity annually and - but these numbers often don¿t filter out into economic equations of govts bc it is people using the river systems, locally. And if you kill off these resources than how are you going to feed these people and then it becomes sort of a game or a simulation to think of - ok - how much land do you have to take out of being in its natural state to raise cows or humans and I am beginning and aquarap is looking at rivers as food banks and potential for the futures. There are lots of regions where people don¿t harvest the fishes to the degree that we could - (drifts off mike at end) -
talk in spanish
1:28:23 - BC -I think that might be a tree trunk, but a large tree trunk¿..
1:29:09 ? we are going to see what this is here - we have something on the line here which is very heavy and it ¿we may have also lost it - we hit something though¿.
1:29:50 - we got it! it is a fish - it is a blanco - splendia!¿that is a pretty fish¿.
1:30;11 it doesn¿t fight very much¿that is the biggest one yet. We are in the Rio San pedro so it is a bigger river.
1:30:28 BC - do you see this? Rose color - look at the red tips on the fins here. This is just gorgeous - the gold around the black - it is just beautiful - just like coral reef fishes. The colors are just spectacular.
CJ - gold with black spots all the way down the side
BC - and rose
CJ - around the gills¿.
1:31:00 CJ- it doesn¿t fight a lot does it?
BC - no, he was pulling it in pretty strongly.
CJ - nice work Jim!
JN - did it tear it¿s mouth or something?
BC - no
JN - that looks great to eat - or do we have to save him for science?
BC - this is live? You are asking an ichthyologist? [laughter]
JN - let¿s cut him up right now! Sushi!
BC - no, not now - not these guys¿.1:31:43 there are leeches here - and you see inside the mouth? There are 2 leeches sucking inside the mouth ¿so we don¿t want to eat - there are a lot of parasites - so we do not want to eat these things raw. But cooked these are quite delicious¿.no, we are not going to eat him - (CJ - take the leeches out first) - no, bc you are leaving 1:32:22¿ you can eat the next one - maybe¿(off mike)
BC - 1:33:12 I am marking the exact - very close to the position where we caught this fish so that when we make a specimen out of this for the museum we have all the data¿.and we can use that locality data to compare the variation like how many scales it has¿¿¿.with species from other regions - BEEPING SOUND1:34:04 and now we have a tradition (CJ - we are cutting this part out)
PEOPLE IN BOAT SMOKING CIGARS AND DRINKING?
1:37:38 JN I wish that everybody in the world could appreciate this forest and this river and swamp in the way that we appreciate it as scientists, as fishermen - people who recognize the value that this has today and for all time bc you figure that this forest that you look over to here on the right has been there for 65 million years and why would we even think of destroying that forest for the next 10 yrs or the 12 yrs for survival when it has been there for 65 mil yrs. What right do we have as a species to wipe that out. 1:38:19
CJ - (off mic) the hard part is convincing people that it is true and trying to do something about it
JN 1:38:29 It is true and we can do something about it, but you are right, the hard part is convincing people of those facts. But those are facts.
1:38:35 BC - You know, it is not hard to convince the local peoples of it. bc the locals people depend on it and once you empower them w/the info about where the areas of reproduction are, what are the critical areas to maintain the resources that they need - people aren¿t foolish. They want to maintain these resources. The problem is to show how in our everyday life these things make a diff. And they really - it does a lot more than enrich the value of life it is going to allow humans to exist on this planet in a way for a lot longer. And the key thing is that if we focus on the resources that are critical for human survival we are also going to preserve a lot of biod. at the same time. And the amazing thing is that w/in aquarap we have formed a partnership w/CI. So we have scientists who work in universities and museums working with CI to find a new way to approach the protection of biod. I mean all of our hearts say protect everything, but the key is that we can find solutions that make good economic sense and protect the max amount of biod as possible and leave a future for the planet.1:39:50
CJ- only learned about this is the last 100 yrs¿¿
1:40:05 BC - absolutely so, but the key is that info is the key to changing those behaviors and when people understand their relationship to organisms and rivers like food banks and their ability to harvest food, sell food, sell ornamental fishes for amazing amounts of dollars then they change their behaviors naturally. It is w/in us. It is just a question of receiving the info.
CJ - the key here is sort of an evaluation rather than a convincing people that it is beautiful for the reasons that a scientist finds it beautiful or an artist beautiful.
1:40:46 BC - no, that is absolutely right. And you know I am an aesthetic. I love it for the reasons that Jim just mentioned. I could just - I come here my pulse rate goes down, my blood pressure goes down it is just beautiful¿.it just does a lot - and I love it - but that is not what is going to preserve these things for the future. It is not what is going to preserve a future for humanity. What we have to focus upon is what is the resources that we are going to need to make it humans. How are we going to meet our increasing population demands and how can we protect the maximum amount of biod possible and learn about what happened in the past so we can prepare to what is going to happen to us in the future. That is what AquaRAP and our partnership with CI is all about and it is diff and it is novel and I think we are beginning to succeed.1:41:48
1:41:49 ambi - boat motor, people (off mic) in bg
JN - your pulse rate is down until you catch a new species !
BC - that is right! 1:42:38 you are absolutely right - for me - I like discovering things and it is like being a little kid in a toy box. We never know what we are going to find next
1:42:47 ambi on boat¿.with talking
1:43:29 reeling in a fish - can hear reel in but also talking - WOA! People exciting as reeling fish in
1:43:54 JN?BC - This is science but it is also kind of fun
JN and BC talking about diff fish that might be caught - what Jim might have
1:44:36 JN - this is a pretty big one too¿Barry has been teaching everybody how to hold a fish - how to grab a fish on the line bc he knows as a fish scientist where the spines are and which fish are dangerous and which aren¿t - so he has been- so he has been teaching people¿¿1;45:10
1:45:17 BC - look at that ! look at the rose color here - the red in the mouth - the males get more color than the females do - and look at the red at the base of the tail ¿.just gorgeous - you never think about fresh water fish w/colors like fishes on a coral reef but really so - ¿..
CJ - rainbow trout¿.
BC - and look at the iridescent green behind the eye¿.
1:46:12 ambi on boat - fish splashing around?
BC - prodding on Chris to catch a fish¿..
ambi on boat - talking in bg -
1;4922 CJ - I am getting the feeling this is rigged out here - you really know how to work this river!
JN - no! no -
1:49:39 - ambi on boat w/talking in bg
1:50;15 JN - what do you think about the speed?
BC - a little bit - un poco mas llente
1:50:24ambi on boat
JN - one of the things that is really interesting is that the classic Maya a 1000 yrs ago were fishing the same river. Catching the exact same species of fish. they weren¿t using outboard motors they weren¿t trolling with plastic lures. But they were catching the same species of fish, so for 1000 yrs, 2000, 3000 yrs, the same fish have been out here and feeding people. I have got one on the line right now - I have got to stop.
1:51:14 reeling in a fish! OK - but talking in bg!
1:51:37 BC - make sure you bow to the fish when you see that snout come up bow to the fish! don¿t let him fall back on the lure -
JN - don¿t know if he is on there but her diff is on that line - no that is a fish
Boat driver: MACCHAKA!
JN - - that¿s Macchaka - no, ¿¿.that is a MULHARARA - what they call a bull around here¿.so this is a new specimen for today -
1:53:03 BC - yes, this is new¿.caught the type species w/prof in 1979
CJ - what is a type specimen¿.
BC - story about finding first species of the fish w/his prof¿..
1:54:40 more boat motor and people talking in bg
1:57:19 BC - ¿the mountain mullet - that is the common name for it¿eats grasses on the side of the water (this isn¿t word for word)
1:58:36 JN (another boat of CI people close by) they are looking for the visible and we are looking for the invisible - the stuff below the water¿..
BC giving CJ tips for his fishing
1:59:39 Caleta! Boat driver screaming out that there are big rocks in the water
BC - translating - you can see how shallow it is
CJ - who is it that does the gill netting?
BC - the local people
CJ - is there a better way to fish that is not as hard on the resource
BC - talking about mesh - and catching fish with the mesh nets
2:01:58 JN - don¿t know if we got one here¿.
2:03:00 to END OF DAT Ambi - boat motor - lots of talking in bg