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Guyana to be featured in National Geographic’s Monster Fish Documentary

Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Indranauth Haralsingh speaking at the press conference. To his right is Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Tourism Ministry Dhaneshwar Deonarine and to his left is Minister of Tourism (ag) Irfaan Ali, Zeb Hogan; Fish Biologist, Erin Buxton; Producer/ Director and Duane De Freitas; Dadanawa ranch ground tour operator

A team from the National Geographic Chanel concluded filming the 30th show of ‘Monster Fish’ in Guyana, a series that documents, aquatic ecologist Zeb Hogan in his quest to save the world’s largest fish.

The team arrived in Guyana on January 30, in search of the wolf fish, locally known as the haimara. Their journey began in Massakenari, a Wai Wai village, located on the Upper Essequibo Coast, filming and fishing with the aim of finding the largest possible haimara.

They then moved down to Apoteri after which they travelled by river to Iwokrama, fishing in the Essequibo river throughout their journey.

During a press conference today, at the Ministry of Tourism, South Road, Georgetown, the team’s members highlighted that they were able to capture a wide range of haimaras in Massakenari, once called Gunn’s Strip, however, at Apoteri and further down the river they were unable to do the same due to the fact that a lot of commercial fishing is done in that section of the river. Nevertheless, they were able to identify a healthy population of other species of fishes such as catfish and tiger fish.

Erin Buxton, Director/Producer of the series who is on her first trip to Guyana, said she had many expectations because she had heard a lot about the country, and her expectations were exceeded.
She noted that the haimara species are usually very tough to find, but with the help of the Wai Wais they did not encounter this problem in Guyana.

Zeb Hogan, Presenter and Fish Biologist noted that during the six years of the show, Guyana has been the team’s best fishing experience, and the country also has the highest diversity of fish. Hogan noted that the team also discovered a lot of large fishes during their journey.

Minister of Tourism (ag) Irfaan Ali expressed gratitude to the team for this undertaking which he said will serve to showcase “who we are, and what we have to offer.” “We believe that this is the foundation to our tourism product, it is the meat of the product, nature based, adventure based, and the positive attributes in terms of biodiversity and so on.”

The Minister noted that the Monster Fish show is viewed by thousands of people worldwide, and will seek to promote Guyana on a large scale. “The Monster Fish is an amazing programme that touches the base of tens of thousands of homes around the world, so here is it that we in Guyana will be able to reach into tens of millions of viewers’ homes around the world,” he said. He also highlighted a project that the Ministry is working on and in which the team may find an interest; sports fishing for cuffum.

Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Indranauth Haralsingh noted that this documentary will aid in promoting Guyana as a tourist destination, showcasing the adventures, cultures, wildlife, and communities.
He also highlighted that the National Geographic’s biggest endorsement of Guyana in 2013 was the listing of the country as a must see destination this year.  The National Geographic Traveler Magazine in November last year named Guyana as one of 21 must see destinations in 2014, alongside other reputable tourism destinations such as the Nahanni National Park of Canada and the Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA.
The Monster Fish series will commence airing in the United States within the period of July-August after which it will be aired worldwide.

The series commenced in 2007 and is currently in its fifth period. It serves to showcase Hogan as he travels the globe, seeking out the leading contenders in a quest to better understand them as he fights to protect them.
Minister Ali highlighted that many other international companies are showing interest in filming in Guyana, and noted that Fortune 500 and Miami Herald are currently in Guyana, while Discovery TV will soon return.
In 2013, The Discovery Channel filmed an entire season (10 episodes) of the popular show ‘Gold Rush’ in Guyana while in September; BBC-One filmed ‘The Hunt’, another popular series, which showcases Guyana’s harpy eagle. Another documentary was also produced by Blue Paw of Germany on their journey to finding the mythical source of the Essequibo.