Pirarucu management at Médio Juruá boosts fishing season

Communities achieved excellent results in the Médio Juruá Territory’s pirarucu fishing season in 2019. Held between August and October, the activity brought together 37 communities from the Uacari Sustainable Development Reserve, the Médio Juruá Extractive Reserve, the Xeruã River Deni Indigenous Land, and the Carauari Fisheries Agreement. In total, over 280 families took part in fishing and made over R$570,000.

This year, the number of families involved in pirarucu fishing increased by 29% – from 219 to 283. The number of monitored lakes also increased, from 72 to 85. As a result, the fish count grew from 14,327 in 2018 to 21,653 in 2019.

“Management in the Médio Juruá and the pirarucu management chain have advanced in recent years with the incorporation of new partners,” said José da Silva Gomes, fishing expert at the Carauari Rural Producers Association (ASPROC), the entity that coordinates fishing in the area. “In 2019, more communities showed interest and joined activities, including lake management, fish protection and counting. They are looking forward to fishing their managed pirarucu.”

In addition to the increased engagement of riverine communities, managed facilities improved. The territory owns a 40-ton boat, with cold storage and processing facilities. In 2019, two mobile water filters were purchased to treat water used in processing and transportation.



30 communities

37 communities

219 families involved in all management stages

283 families involved in all management stages

72 environments monitored

85 environments monitored

14,327 pirarucu fish counted in the lakes

21,653 pirarucu fish counted in the lakes


Pirarucu is the largest scaled fish in the Amazon and among the largest freshwater fish in the world. Predatory fishing has reduced stocks so much that fishing is controlled, only authorized by the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) in fishing management projects.

The sustainable management of the pirarucu is essential for its conservation. Before fishing, it is necessary to monitor the lakes and count the fish. Pirarucu management by ASPROC is so successful that last year it received the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Innovation Challenge award for its work to guarantee the minimum price for wild-caught, managed pirarucu and the creation of the Gosto da Amazônia brand, developed with the support of the US Forest Service.

Médio Juruá Territory Program 

The program is USAID supported under an initiative led by Natura and Coca-Cola Brazil, SITAWI coordinates the initiative within the Carauari municipality, in the Médio Juruá river region in the state of Amazonas, in partnership with the TMJ Forum. The objective of the Program is biodiversity conservation through implementation of a Territorial Development Plan in the region, bringing together a wide range of actors to amplify scale and impact of conservation and development activities in social, environmental and economic areas. Learn more about the program here.