Conservation of migratory fishes in the Amazon basin

Type Article
Date 2021-05
Language English
Author(s) Duponchelle FabriceORCID1, 2, Isaac Victoria J.ORCID3, Rodrigues Da Costa Doria CarolinaORCID2, 4, Van Damme Paul A.ORCID5, Herrera‐r Guido A.ORCID6, 7, Anderson Elizabeth P.ORCID6, Cruz Rivetla E.A.ORCID3, Hauser MariliaORCID2, 4, 8, Hermann Theodore W.ORCID9, Agudelo EdwinORCID2, 10, Bonilla‐castillo CésarORCID2, 10, Barthem RonaldoORCID11, Freitas Carlos E.C.ORCID2, 12, García‐dávila CarmenORCID2, 13, García‐vasquez AureaORCID2, 13, Renno Jean‐françois2, 14, Castello LeandroORCID15
Affiliation(s) 1 : Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) MARBEC (Université de Montpellier, CNRS, Ifremer, IRD) Montpellier, France
2 : Laboratoire Mixte International – Evolution et Domestication de l'Ichtyofaune Amazonienne (LMI‐EDIA), IIAP, UAGRM, IRD Iquitos, Peru
3 : Núcleo de Ecologia Aquática e Pesca da Amazônia Universidade Federal do Pará Belém, Brazil
4 : Laboratório de Ictiologia e Pesca, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas Universidade Federal de Rondônia (UNIR) Porto Velho, Brazil
5 : FAUNAGUA Institute for Applied Research on Aquatic Resources Cochabamba, Bolivia
6 : Department of Earth and Environment and Institute for Water and Environment Florida International University Miami FL ,USA
7 : Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology The University of Tennessee Knoxville TN, USA
8 : Programa de Pós‐graduação da Rede de Biodiversidade e Biotecnologia da Amazônia Legal Porto Velho, Brazil
9 : Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, College of Environmental Science and Forestry State University of New York Syracuse New York, USA
10 : Instituto Amazónico de Investigaciones Científicas – SINCHI Leticia ,Colombia
11 : Coordenação de Ciências da Terra e Ecologia Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi Belém ,Brazil
12 : Departamento de Ciências Pesqueiras Universidade Federal do Amazonas (UFAM) Manaus ,Brazil
13 : Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonia Peruana (IIAP) Iquitos ,Peru
14 : Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) UMR DIADE (Université de Montpellier, IRD) Montpellier ,France
15 : Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg VA, USA
Source Aquatic Conservation-marine And Freshwater Ecosystems (1052-7613) (Wiley), 2021-05 , Vol. 31 , N. 5 , P. 1087-1105
DOI 10.1002/aqc.3550
WOS© Times Cited 44
Keyword(s) biodiversity, fisheries management, hydroelectric dams, overexploitation, societal importance, threats

The Amazon basin hosts the Earth's highest diversity of freshwater fish. Fish species have adapted to the basin's size and seasonal dynamics by displaying a broad range of migratory behaviour, but they are under increasing threats; however, no study to date has assessed threats and conservation of Amazonian migratory fishes.

Here, the available knowledge on the diversity of migratory behaviour in Amazonian fishes is synthesized, including the geographical scales at which they occur, their drivers and timing, and life stage at which they are performed.

Migratory fishes are integral components of Amazonian society. They contribute about 93% (range 77–99%) of the fisheries landings in the basin, amounting to ~US$436 million annually.

These valuable fish populations are mainly threatened by growing trends of overexploitation, deforestation, climate change, and hydroelectric dam development. Most Amazonian migratory fish have key ecological roles as apex predators, ecological engineers, or seed‐dispersal species. Reducing their population sizes could induce cascading effects with implications for ecosystem stability and associated services.

Conserving Amazonian migratory fishes requires a broad portfolio of research, management, and conservation actions, within an ecosystem‐based management framework at the basin scale. This would require trans‐frontier coordination and recognition of the crucial importance of freshwater ecosystems and their connectivity.

Existing areas where fishing is allowed could be coupled with a chain of freshwater protected areas. Management of commercial and subsistence species also needs fisheries activities to be monitored in the Amazonian cities and in the floodplain communities to allow assessments of the status of target species, and the identification of management units or stocks. Ensuring that existing and future fisheries management rules are effective implies the voluntary participation of fishers, which can be achieved by increasing the effectiveness and coverage of adaptive community‐based management schemes.

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Duponchelle Fabrice, Isaac Victoria J., Rodrigues Da Costa Doria Carolina, Van Damme Paul A., Herrera‐r Guido A., Anderson Elizabeth P., Cruz Rivetla E.A., Hauser Marilia, Hermann Theodore W., Agudelo Edwin, Bonilla‐castillo César, Barthem Ronaldo, Freitas Carlos E.C., García‐dávila Carmen, García‐vasquez Aurea, Renno Jean‐françois, Castello Leandro (2021). Conservation of migratory fishes in the Amazon basin. Aquatic Conservation-marine And Freshwater Ecosystems, 31(5), 1087-1105. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :