How Do People Use the Amazon River?

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People use the Amazon River for water, food, travel and scientific discovery. In fact, the Amazon River alone adds 20 percent of freshwater into the ocean and is possibly the longest river in the world.

Many indigenous tribes live on or nearby the Amazon River. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, tribes use the river as a source of food through fishing. Not only are tropical fish a food staple for local people, but they are also sought out for aquariums and for breeding. Alligators are hunted for both their meat and their skin, along with turtles, manatees and other water animals.

The Amazon River is also important for travel. Native peoples have canoes and sailing rafts, or jagandas, in which to navigate the river. Historically, in order to enslave the tribal people, explorers would commandeer their food and canoes.

People also use the Amazon River for scientific discovery. According to The Guardian world news, scientists discovered a freshwater dolphin species, called the Araguaia dolphin, in one of the tributaries of the Amazon River. The electric knifefish is also a new species found in the Amazon River. The fish gets its name from the high-frequency electric waves it uses to communicate along with its long snout.