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In Cachuela Esperanza, Rosario del Yata and in 10 communities distributed in four indigenous territories (TCO), the Fish for Life II team carried out the first studies to characterize fishing and its importance for the communities.

In Cachuela Esperanza, Rosario del Yata and in 10 communities distributed in four indigenous territories (TCO), the Fish for Life II team carried out the first studies to characterize fishing and its importance for the communities.

Until now, fisheries in Bolivia are poorly understood and documented. Their sensitivity to environmental and socioeconomic changes, as well as their contribution to livelihoods and food security, are unknown. Among them, indigenous fisheries are the least described, studied and strengthened despite the role they play for the permanence and subsistence of the indigenous groups that have practiced them since ancient times.

In order to generate data on the sensitivity of the fisheries of the Northern Amazon of Bolivia and to direct the interventions of the Fish for Life II Project in the most appropriate way, an evaluation of the fisheries was carried out. For both Cachuela Esperanza and Rosario del Yata (traditional non-indigenous fishing communities), a continuous collection was carried out on the fleet, fishing production, fish consumption and other aspects, for 60 days in coordination and collaboration with the CIRA (Autonomous University of Beni ).

In indigenous communities, communal workshops were held with the participation of nearby communities. With the participation of 100 women and 152 men, different historical, organizational, social and productive aspects were identified collectively. For example, the history of the community and its entry into fishing activity, its first experiences with paiche and local perspectives on its potential. The information from the communities was complemented with 127 individual interviews.

Opinions of fishermen
“Paiche is good because it is sold and helps with economic income.” 
Lake Buena Vista Community“Paiche is bad because it reduces the native species that are sold, it eats the smallest fish.”
Community of San José

“If we take out all the [native] fish (…) later, what are our children going to consume? “I know that if we take everything out, the fish in the river will end (…) it would be better for the paiche to be marketed for subsistence (…) so that there is an income for the family.”
Baketi Community

**Contacts:**
Fernando Carvajal, FAUNAGUA, fernando.carvajal@faunagua.org
Alison Macnaughton, UVIC, alimacna@gmail.com

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