Amazon Fishery Management Provides Rare ‘win-win’ Chance for Conservation and Poverty Alleviation

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Author: University of East Anglia 

Prof Carlos Peres from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Dr João Campos-Silva of Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil led the analysis into the population recovery of Arapaima gigas, the world’s largest scaled freshwater fish, which had been previously depleted.

Eight years of data were used to measure how population sizes varied between managed, protected oxbow lakes and open-access lakes. The study demonstrated a dramatic rebound in arapaima populations that had been previously overfished in lakes under community-based management, concluding that these management programmes are a clear ‘win-win’ conservation solution, compatible with the socioeconomic reality of Amazonian countries.

The study compares protected freshwater lakes along the Juruá River, a 3350-km long tributary of the Amazon, to ‘high-interest savings accounts’, vital for local food security. But efforts to protect these freshwater ecosystems are often hampered by conflicts with commercial fishing interests.

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