It's called the arapaima, or pirarucu. It lives in the Amazon River. It's enormousIn the heart of Brazil lies a lusciously green nature reserve where men in canoes club supersize fish with wooden bats, then lug them back to their homes to eat and trade.
It’s all part of arapaima fishing season, the few months when Amazonian communities in the Mamiraua nature reserve devote their lives to hunting arapaima, the world’s largest scaled freshwater fish. The fish, known locally as pirarucu, has the face of a piranha and the body of a torpedo.
Catching the arapaima, whose extra-tough scales are nearly impenetrable, isn’t easy. In the early morning, men push out their canoes to harpoon and pluck the fish from the river. Later in the day, women clean and freeze the fish to be sold when fishing season—which lasts from July to November—comes to an end.
Below, photos from this year’s arapaima hunting season:
Check out more photos of arapaima hunting season here.