Peces para la Vida II (PPVII), and the Quechua Indigenous University “Casimiro Huanca” - UNIBOL, organized and hosted Bolivia’s Second International Aquaculture Symposium held at the University’s Campus in Chimoré-Cochabamba from December 5 to 7, 2016. The event was supported by various public and private entities who contributed to its success.
The event was led by directors, teachers and students from the Aquaculture Engineering program at the University. Over 200 students, fish farmers, technicians, teachers, local authorities, and international and national researchers participated (with almost an equal number of men and women). The Second International Aquaculture Symposium builds on experience from the first one, held in 2013, hosted by PPV I and the national government fisheries and aquaculture authority (CIDAB).
Presenters came from Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, and Chile, and included representatives of the PPV partners, EMBRAPA (Brazil), Bolivia’s public and private universities, aquaculture organizations, NGOs, private companies and the Legislative Assembly of Bolivia.
The theme of “technological innovations” had the greatest number of presentations (17) and interest, followed by “integrated aquaculture” (nine), which included various economic topics. This was an opportunity for students, producers, and researchers to gain new skills and knowledge, that will ultimately lead to improved production in the fish farms.
The next International Aquaculture Symposium, will be held in Santa Cruz in 2018, by the Autonomous University Gabriel Rene Moreno, and will receive the continued support of PPVII partners, IRD (Research Institute for Development, France) and several other fish farmers, academics and public authorities.
National and international participants’ expectations were exceeded, and the future of the aquaculture sector in Bolivia looks very promising.
Severo Villarroel –UNIBOL Dean- Bolivia:
“The enormous potential of this sector is becoming evident, not only for food security, but also for its economic potential. The only way to move forward is by learning.”
Joachim Carolsfeld –WFT Director - Canada:
“I believe that a key component of the Symposium was the interaction of international, national and local visitors who together have created important networks for the future.”
Rosmery Chura hanco – Co-Dean UNIBOL - Bolivia:
“Quality of presenters... Recognizing and valuing their training, academic quality and experience ... The human quality towards our University and our people is enormous and I value that.”
Melvi Vera Yapura – Student – UNIBOL - Bolivia:
“It has been very useful for us as students and for the fish farmers here in attendance.”
Maria del Carmen Arenas - Association of multiethnic producers of San Buena Ventura - Bolivia:
“We are from the north of La Paz; from the Amazon. We have been river fishers since ancient times and now we have been venturing into fish farming for about five years. The Symposium has been excellent, with very fluid information and experts; it has been very beneficial for us. Some of the most important things that I am taking with me are the valuable experiences of other countries, the technical aspects and the information from other fish farmers.”
Brian Davy – Advisory Committee PPV II - Canada:
“Bolivia is starting to do fish farming and it needs much training. For that, it needs strong organizations.”
Luis Eduardo Lima –EMBRAPA Researcher – Brazil:
“I see the future of fish farming in Bolivia as prosperous as in Brazil. Bolivia has everything it needs to develop in the right direction. The potential of the country is there: the amount of water, the number of species and the people. I believe they have the tools to be prosperous and have the potential to become one of the major producers in South America.”
Rodrigo Daza –PPV II Coordinator - Bolivia:
“One of the most important outcomes is having been able to bring everyone together to talk at the same table, stating their interests, expectations and ideas for a better development of the aquaculture sector.”