Gamitana (Colossoma macropomum) and Paco (Piaractus brachypomus) culture in floating cages in the Peruvian Amazon
Fernando Alcantara B.; Carlos Chavez V.; Luciano Rodriguez C.; S. Tello
Type of Document:
World Aquaculture Society
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Abstract: In April 1999, the Institute for Investigations of the Peruvian Amazon (IIAP) located in Iquitos (Loreto region) with the Italian NGO Terra Nuova and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC), through the auspices of the PD/A CRSP-USAID program, initiated the Food Security Program for Familiar Productive Units (PROSEAL) between the Iquitos-Nauta Road and the Tigre River (Santa Helena and Huayococha). The Goal of this program was to produce fish in ponds and floating cages as a way of providing tools to improve the animal protein intake of the Quichuas indigenous population and other rural poor.
This article is restricted to the experiences gained through a demonstration project on floating cages. Fish culture in cages floating directly in the natural environment in the Peruvian Amazon hat not been reported previously; thus many issues had to be resolved for it to be successful. The two predominant concerns were: 1) the behavior of major predators, such as dolphins (Inia geoffrensis and Sotalia fluviatilis), crocodiles (Caiman sclerops), and piranas (Serrasalmus nattereri) towards the unprotected floating cages containing large numbers of fish; and 2) the sociological cachama, pirapitinga, or morocoto). The two species have the advantage of being well known to the local population, although recent captures have decreased dramatically as a result of excessive fishing pressure on natural stocks by the Iquitos-based commercial fishing fleet. In this article, we report preliminary results obtained from gamitana and paco culture in floating cages in the Tigre River.