Peru: Ucayali to invest $2 million in paiche conservation

The regional government of Ucayali will promote the conservation of paiche (jungle fish species) in this Peruvian jurisdiction with an investment of about two million dollars, the regional director of Production, Mariano Rebaza, reported today.

In statements to Andina news agency, he explained that an initial project would focus on the Imiría lagoon, of the Masisea district, where previously there was a good amount of the above-mentioned fish species and which is experiencing a decline today.

"For this initiative, we will earmark a budget of 2.02 million dollars and the regional government, 14 native communities of the zone, the Research Institute of Peruvian Amazonia and fishermen’s association will participate in the campaign", he said.

He also stated that one of the first steps will be to implement a closed season in the lake as well as to organize fishing surveillance local committees and to repopulate with 500 breeding of 4-year paiche.

The arapaima, pirarucu, or paiche (Arapaima gigas) is a South American tropical freshwater fish.

It is one of the larger freshwater fish in the world, reportedly with a maximum length up to 4.5 m (14.75 ft.) and weight up to 200 kg (440 lb.). The maximum weight and length is disputed. It is the largest freshwater fish in South America.

As one of the most sought after food fish species in South America, it is often captured primarily by handheld nets for export, by spearfishing for local consumption, and, consequently, large arapaima of more than 2 m are seldom found in the wild today.

News source: ANDINA