at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
UHCSEAS on Facebook UHCSEAS on Twitter UHCSEAS on Instagram UHCSEAS on Youtube

The Dragon Fish of Southeast Asia

The Dragon Behind the Glass: A True Story of Power, Obsession, and the World’s Most Coveted Fish
Emily Voight

A riveting journey into the bizarre world of the Asian arowana or “dragon fish”—the world’s most expensive aquarium fish—reveals a surprising history with profound implications for the future of wild animals and human beings alike.

A young man is murdered for his prized pet fish. An Asian tycoon buys a single specimen for $150,000. Meanwhile, a pet detective chases smugglers through the streets of New York. Delving into an outlandish realm of obsession, paranoia, and criminality, The Dragon Behind the Glass tells the story of a fish like none other: a powerful predator dating to the age of the dinosaurs. Treasured as a status symbol believed to bring good luck, the Asian arowana is bred on high-security farms in Southeast Asia and sold by the hundreds of thousands each year. In the United States, however, it’s protected by the Endangered Species Act and illegal to bring into the country—though it remains the object of a thriving black market. From the South Bronx to Singapore, journalist Emily Voigt follows the trail of the fish, ultimately embarking on a years-long quest to find the arowana in the wild, venturing deep into some of the last remaining tropical wildernesses on earth.

With a captivating blend of personal reporting, history, and science, The Dragon Behind the Glass traces our modern fascination with aquarium fish back to the era of exploration when intrepid naturalists stood on the cutting edge of modern science, discovering new and wondrous species in jungles all over the world. In an age when freshwater fish now comprise one of the most rapidly vanishing groups of animals on the planet, Voigt unearths a paradoxical truth behind the dragon fish’s rise to fame—one that calls into question how we protect the world’s rarest species. An elegant exploration of the human conquest of nature, The Dragon Behind the Glass revels in the sheer wonder of life’s diversity and lays bare our deepest desire—to hold onto what is wild.

More Information
Asian Arowana
Daniel Chen and Osmond Chao (Editors), Yi-Chun Chen (Illustrator), and  Michael Wu (Narrator)

The Asian Arowanas (Scleropages sp.) belong to the most fascinating fish of the World. Due to their brilliant colors, their large scales, their swimming pattern and their large fins, they remind us of the ancient and mythological Dragons!
Keeping these Dragon fishes at home brings luck and fits perfectly to the philosophy of Feng Shui.
However, some wild populations of Dragon fishes are threatened by extinction and all are therefore listed on Appendix 1 of CITES. Thus only captive bred specimens are open for the trade.This book reflects the actual status quo of the captive bred Asian Arowana population, with well over 500 fascinating and brilliant color photographs. Everything you need to know, wanted to know or should now about those fascinating creatures is in this book! Separated in chapters about Arowana breeding farms, reports (with photos) of true international Arowana fans, all the different color patterns in photos, breeding reports, feeding, other fish that can be kept with the Dragon, diseases and cures, water parameters, how to obtain a CITES permit, really everything you need to know about the Dragon fish! The ultimate Arowana reference book!!More | Malaysian-Led Research Team Successfully Sequenced The Genome Of A Malaysian Fish: The Asian Arowana

Arowana Conservation in Southeast Asia