On September 28th , the riverside communities brought more than a ton of several fishes to the city and divulged their work of community protection of lakes in Itamarati (AM).
By Clara Machado
Itamarati’s (AM) rural communities protect the region’s lakes while advancing the formalization of a fishing agreement that allows the management of arapaima in the region, with Instituto Juruá’s support. The lake’s protection has been in place since last year and, although fishing arapaima is still not allowed, the protection already shows visible results for the region.
Aruanã, pacu, bodó, tucunaré, curimatá, piranha… these are some of the fishes that were sold in big quantities at the Community Fishing Fair of Itamarati Communities, which happened on September 28th at Ginásio Municipal Clodoaldo Maia. More than a ton and half of fish from the lakes which are protected by communities were taken to the fair, impressing those who were present.
According to Nerinho Santos, one of the fair’s organizers and president of the Environmental and Extractivist Association of Rural Producers of Itamarati (AAEPPRI), the event was important to show the results that can be achieved through protecting lakes. “The fair drew attention to Itamarati’s population, those who didn’t believe and didn’t bet on the protection and performance of the community. If the community didn’t take charge, there wouldn’t be good cheap fish of quality. I saw the joy on everyone’s face who participated in the fair ” Nerinho says.
About 500 people were present at the Fishing Fair and due to the abundance of fish; a kilo of fish was sold below the usual price in the city. According to Nerinho “the fish was very cheap because here in the city the pacu’s kilo costs eight reais and this fair was of great importance because there was so much fish so the kilo became cheaper, around five and six reais”.
With the public’s acceptance and the selling success, the expectation is that the fair occurs every year. Besides the benefits for Itamarati’s residents and the community, the forest also gains since part of the fair’s profits will help the construction of a vigilance house that will be implemented in the entry of one of the protection lakes.
“The community loved it and me too!” It’s a new experience, which aggregates value, a way of valuing the community, ribeirinhos who have been looking after, and the importance of these people… tending to be able to prosper! For AAEPRI to get here, we had Instituto Juruá’s support. I’m grateful to Instituto Juruá for having invested in empowering me, providing courses and training. I learned a lot, ” adds Nerinho.
The fair was organized by the Environmental and Extractivist Association of Fishermen and Rural Producers of Itamarati (AAEPPRI) in partnership with the riverside communities Cantagalo, Walterburi, and the Secretaria Municipal do Empreendedor. Also with the support from Itamarati City Hall, Institute for Sustainable Agropecuary and Forestry Development of the State of Amazonas (IDAM), the Secretary of Culture, Social Assistance, Secretary of Production, and Itamarati Secretary of the entrepreneur.