Pirarucu management in Lower Jurua Extractive Reserve, Central-West Brazilian Amazon

Paula Soares Pinheiro

The largest Amazon fish, pirarucu (Arapaima gigas), has been largely overexploited. In the past decade, conservation strategies have shifted from government control to pirarucu management empowering local communities. However, the success of management efforts varies among communities, experiencing increased or decreased pirarucu populations in lakes over time. This project aims to improve pirarucu management and conservation in the Lower Jurua Extractive Reserve, central-west Brazilian Amazon, through the study of social-ecological conditions affecting pirarucu populations, design of appropriate management strategies based on conditions identified, training of fishers in management techniques, environmental education, and outreach. The study will compare management systems in which pirarucu abundance has increased or decreased over time in terms of community characteristics, governance characteristics, biophysical characteristics and external factors. The project will result in a specific management plan for pirarucu in the reserve, and increased local capacity and awareness in the protected area and surroundings.