The Center for the Development of the Amazonian Indigenous (CEDIA) has transferred approximately 4000 fingerlings of the “Paco” species to 10 of the 17 fish farms that were built last year in 7 annexes -Buen Perú, Remoyacu, San Juan, San José de Añuji , Santa Rosa, Estirón and Puerto Alegre- belonging to the Matsés Native Community, the largest in Peru, made up of 15 annexes and located in the Yaquerana District, Requena province in the Loreto department.
The transferred fingerlings were the product of the first artificial reproduction of Amazonian fish that took place in December of last year, in the artisanal laboratory located in the San José de Añushi annex in the Gálvez river basin in Loreto. The fish are currently 5 months old and each is around 350 to 400 grams. All this was possible thanks to the efforts that CEDIA, through its technical team, develops in the community, added to the advice of IIAP / AQUAREC based on an agreement that we have signed with them and the commitment of the community members. of Matsés.
It is expected that this activity will help improve food security and the necessary proteins of the community members of the area, reduce fishing pressure on water bodies and conserve native species in their natural environment. With the laboratory it is expected to have more reproduction to obtain new seeds of native fish and that the Matsés can obtain economic income from the sale of fingerlings.
These are the first fruits of this initiative whose antecedents are efforts undertaken since 2009 thanks to the active participation of the community members of the different annexes.
In 2009, after a diagnosis of the state of natural resources and community organization, the Matsés, through multiple assemblies, decided, among other aspects, to improve the fishing resource in the community. This initiative was reflected in the visions of the annexes and in the communal vision embodied in their life plans, as well as in the multiple agreements for the use, access and control of natural resources that were monitored by the communal directors, the committees surveillance officers and trained fishery recorders. One of the strategies to improve the stock of the fishing resource was to reduce fishing for some years in lakes, streams and large rivers that were in poor condition. The same happened for hunting areas and forests where wildlife had drastically declined.
Thus, to replace the wildlife resources that were forbidden, an alliance is established between the District Municipality of Yaquerana, the Matsés Native Community and CEDIA to build 11 fish farms in the Annexes with the largest population -Buenas Lomas Nueva, Buenas Lomas Antigua, Buen Perú, Remoyacu, San José de Añiushi, Santa Rosa, Estirón, Paujil and Nuevo Cashishpi– and thus ensure part of the food, necessary proteins and generate economic income for families.
CEDIA signed an agreement with IIAP / AQUAREC to strengthen the capacities of 13 Matsés community members for raising and managing fish in fish farms. In addition, the Regional Directorate of Fisheries trained them with respect to fishing regulations in order to effectively control their communal agreements. Between 2010 and 2011, the agreements established in the alliance were implemented, determining the construction of fish farms and the first version of the artisanal laboratory of Amazonian fish. During this period, no artisanal fish were reproduced; the fish farms were supplied with paco fingerlings provided by the IIAP and raised in the San José de Añushi ponds.
After a recess of almost four years, in 2015, CEDIA takes action again and in coordination with the Board of Directors, led by Daniel Vela Collantes, a diagnosis is made, a work plan is carried out and the planned activities are started. Thus, between 2015 and 2016 all the communal fish farms were refurbished, 30 areas were evaluated for the construction of family fish farms and the Artisan laboratory for the first reproduction of Amazonian fish was refurbished and remodeled.
In addition, CEDIA renewed the agreement with the IIAP / AQUAREC and more Matsés community members and the CEDIA technical team were trained through internships in artificial reproduction and rearing of Amazonian fish. During this period, knowledge was also strengthened in the preparation of balanced food, construction of infrastructure for it, implementation of a module for the production of said food and an internship was developed for the community members to learn how to prepare it.
During 2016 CEDIA implements and builds fish farms for the different beneficiaries, new community members are strengthened capacities to manage fish in fish farms, as well as construction and maintenance of the same. The artisan laboratory was also implemented at 100%.
In December 2016, as mentioned above, the first artificial reproduction of Paco's species was carried out and in January of this year fingerlings of said species were transferred to seven Annexes of the Matsés Native Community.
Currently the community has an artisan laboratory for artificial fish reproduction approximately three times a year. Likewise, there is a fish farm containing 24 paco fish selected as breeders and a quarantine pond - where the fish recover after reproducing.
We hope to achieve an approximate total of 41 communal and family fish farms throughout the community, occupying a total area of 29 210.76 m2 of water body for raising fish. We are sure that this initiative will contribute to improving the quality of life of the Matsés and reducing the pressure on the bodies of water, which will allow them to conserve the fish in their natural environment.