Fishermen use cell phones to demonstrate the impact of hydroelectric dams on a migratory fish in the Bolivian Amazon
The fishermen of Puerto Villarroel, a fishing port located at the Bolivian headwaters of the Amazon River, record with their cell phones the presence of the dorado (goliath catfish), an ENDANGERED species in the Bolivian Amazon. Cell phones replace notebooks that they used before, since 1998.
¨Before we used to fish for golden artos in the Ichilo river, every year between October and April, now there are no more, the species has disappeared after the construction of two hydroelectric dams in Brazilian territory¨. Omar Ortuño, a fisherman in Puerto Villarroel, uses the ICTIO application, developed by the WCS Citizen Science project, and which was implemented in the area by FAUNAGUA in cooperation with WWF, to record his catches and thus manages to give early warning when something is wrong with the fishing resources, like now with the dorado. He gave a brief testimony that can be seen at the following link:
The dorado is the species that migrates the longest distances in freshwater: the larvae drift 4,000 km downstream and the pre-adults migrate 4,000 km upstream to reach their spawning grounds in the Amazon headwaters. Thanks to fishermen’s records we know that this species is in danger of extinction in the Bolivian Amazon.