Photo Credit: Ricardo Oliveira/AFP via Getty Images

Animals Brazil10. April 2022

Indigenous Population Develops Method to Save Native Fish

An Indigenous community from the Brazilian Amazon managed to gain control of its territory and developed a productive and sustainable way to fish a native gigantic fish, to the ultimate benefit of the entire population.

“Before the demarcation, there were no pirarucu or other fish left in any of the lakes” says Pha’avi Hava Deni, president of Aspodex (Association of the Deni People of Xeruã River). “After the demarcation, we recovered the pirarucu and our game, because we practice conservation. There are areas where we don’t hunt or fish. That’s why we’re in a good place today.”

The Denis’ territory covers 1.5 million hectares located between the rivers Juruá and Purus, and the productive chain they developed — including social organization, control of their land, rational use of natural resources, and income generation — largely employs the local population. For example, in an area covering 187 hectares, 90% of the population takes part in the controlled production. The Denis started the project in 2009 with the help of Operation Native Amazonia, thus managing to restore the population of the pirarucu, an endangered colossal fish that weighs on average 61 kg and can measure up to 2.24 m. Today, pirarucu stocks have risen by a whopping 425% on their land.

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