Fisheries in indigenous and rural communities


Fisheries in indigenous and rural communities

In Cachuela Esperanza, Rosario del Yata and 10 communities distributed in four indigenous territories (TCO), the Amazon Fish for Food team (Peces para la Vida II) completed research to characterize the fishery and its importance for these communities.

Until recently, Bolivian fisheries have been poorly understood and documented. Their sensitivity to environmental and socio-economic changes is unknown, as is their contribution to livelihoods and food security. The indigenous fisheries are the least described, studied and strengthened, despite the important role they play in the livelihoods and subsistence of indigenous groups who have been fishing since ancient times.

In an effort to generate information on the sensibility of fisheries in Bolivia’s Northern Amazon, and to effectively direct Project interventions, an evaluation of the fisheries took place. In coordination and collaboration with CIRA, (Autonomous University of Beni) data was collected on the fishing fleet, fisheries production, consumption, and other aspects during a 60-day period in Cachuela Esperanza and Rosario del Yata (traditional, non-indigenous fishing communities).

Community workshops took place in the indigenous and nearby communities, including participation of 100 women and 152 men. Collectively, participants identified different historical, organizational, social, and productive aspects. For example, people described their communities’ history, and how they began fishing, their first experiences with paiche, and local perspectives on its potential. This information was complemented by 127 individual interviews.

Opinions of fishers
“Paiche is good because it sells and helps economic income”
Lago Buena Vista community

“Paiche is bad because it diminishes the amount of native species we sell; it eats the smaller fish”
San José community

“If we take out all the fish [native species] (...)what will our children eat after? I know if we fish everything, the fish in the river disappear (...) it would be better to sell paiche for subsistence (…) so we can have 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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