Managing the invasive "paiche" (pirarucu) (Arapaima gigas) in Bolivia
Paiche (Arapaima gigas) was introduced in the southern part of the Peruvian Amazona, from where it invaded the Madre de Dios river basin and, subsequently, all the Bolivian Amazon. It became invasive fifty years after its introduction, and replaced the native species in the landings in the northern Bolivian Amazon. (ver link).
FAUNAGUA, supported by INIAF through the World Bank, and in the framework of the Fish for Food (PPV) project, supported by IDRC and Global Affairs (Canada), published the book "Baseline for the use and management of paiche Arapaima gigas in the Amazon river basin". The book, written in the spanish language, is subdividided in 6 sections ("Aquatic diversity", "Benefits and consumption risks", "Biology and Genetics", "Introduction and invasion", "Value chain"), 19 chapters and 508 pages. 50 authors have collaborated in the writing. The book includes some recommendations for public and local stakeholders. The book can be downloaded from the FAUNAGUA webpage.
The key question is how to manage this species? In a booklet we provide some recommendation, though recognizing that the real decisions on this invasive species should be taken by the publish stakeholder, who already paved the road with two administrative regulations. The commercial use of the species was explored and promoted in the framework of the Peces para la Vida project (see www.pecesvida.org). In the framework of the IAPA (Integración de Áreas Protegidas Amazónicas) Project, supported by WWF, FAUNAGUA, unveals a new challenge: the management of this species in protected áreas. The test case for this is the Manuripi reserve, where we support SERNAP controlling the species, combined with an integrated use of the meat and skin, adding economic value that benefits local people living within the protected area.