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Aquarium fisheries as a non-timber forest product: experiences from conservation through community development in North Rupununi District, Guyana

Bicknell, Jake E., Chin, Christopher (2007) Aquarium fisheries as a non-timber forest product: experiences from conservation through community development in North Rupununi District, Guyana. Conservation Evidence, 4 . pp. 94-98. ISSN 1758-2067. (KAR id:48130)

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Abstract

Deforestation is one of the major global conservation issues. Solutions are being sought to tackle this ongoing

forest loss, including establishment of initiatives to provide new sources of income for local communities that

promote the sustainable use of forests in the interest of biodiversity conservation. One such project ‘Iwokrama’,

demonstrates how tropical forests and associated habitats can be sustainably used. In the central Guyana wetlands of the Rupununi, illegal fishing of arapaima Arapaima gigas, had led to a huge

reduction in its numbers. Iwokrama responded by initiating the Arapaima Management Plan in 2002. This

highlighted the need for another source of local income from fisheries, and a business that undertakes sustainable harvest

of fish for the aquarium trade was developed. Harvesting of a few selected fish species is carried-out by

members of the local community who are paid a daily wage. Fishing methods target individual species to avoid

incidental by-catch. Four species are primarily caught as they are numerous in the Rupununi and are of high trade

value. To ensure ecological and economical sustainability, catch per unit effort is monitored; where this begins to

drop for any given species, harvesting is suspended and the population is allowed to recover before harvesting

resumes. The project has developed into a self-sustaining business, managed by the community themselves. During

2005, the project reached financial sustainability with current profits of over US$3,000 feeding back into local

community initiatives.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Jake Bicknell
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2015 15:58 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:19 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/48130 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Bicknell, Jake E.: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6831-627X
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