Marcos Javier de Jesus; Christopher C. Kohler
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Abstract: A combination of increased human population growth, high fish harvest pressure, and adoption of more technologically advanced fishing equipment by the commercial fleet has generated concerns about the sustainability of fish stocks in the Peruvian Amazon. We assessed the status of the commercial fishery by conducting interviews with officials of the Peruvian Ministry of Fisheries as well as with commercial and artisanal fishers. We also reviewed pertinent publications and agency reports written in one of three languages (Spanish, Portuguese, and English). Based on the trend toward smaller-sized fish and greater effort needed to achieve full capacity catches, we suggest the commercial fishery is beginning to show the classical signs of overfishing. More comprehensive data collection, stringent enforcement of management regulations, research on the influence of flood level on fish production, and development of an ecologically and genetically sound native-species aquaculture program are measures we recommend be adopted to protect and sustain the fishery resources of the Peruvian Amazon.