The Fish Production in our Water programme – PPNA was created by ITAIPU Binacional to promote social inclusion, to value fishing communities and to improve the quality of life of the people who rely on the waters of the Paraná III Basin for their sustenance. The programme provides assistance for the six colonies and four associations for professional artisanal fisherfolk, with approximately 850 members and 153 families. The programme focuses on social inclusion to qualify professional fisherfolk to become fish farmers.

 

 

The programme aims to reach 5% of the fish market in the region of the Paraná III Basin in 5 years with an estimated annual production growth rate of 10%, and is currently under development. Net pen production exceeded 100 tonnes in 2013 and 145 tonnes in 2014, which was higher than expected for that period. 

 

A - General Information

 

 


 January 2003 (in progress)

EXECUTING ENTITY: ITAIPU Binacional

PARTNERSHIPS: Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture - MPA; Institute of Technical Assistance and Rural Extension of Paraná - EMATER; Study Group of Aquaculture Management of the State University of Western Paraná - UNIOESTE/GEMAQ; Federal Institute of Paraná - IFPR; Environmental Institute of Paraná - IAP; Brazilian Institute of Environment - IBAMA; Empresa Palmares; Municipal Councils of Iguassu Falls, Santa Terezinha de Itaipu, São Miguel do Iguaçu, Itaipulândia, Santa Helena, Entre Rios do Oeste, Marechal Cândido Rondon and Mercedes.

PRESENTED BY: Celso Buglione Neto

RESOURCES: Own and third-party resources

COST RANGE: Over USD 25,000.00

CATEGORY: Projects

MAIN THEMATIC AREA: Productive social inclusion.

KEY WORDS: Aquaculture; Fisheries; Social Inclusion; Food Security; ITAIPU Binacional; Hydroelectric Plant; Reservoir; Artisanal Fishing; Food Production.

TARGET PUBLIC: Artisanal fisherfolk, indigenous communities and settlers organized into colonies, association or cooperatives. 

LOCATION: Tributaries of the right margin of the Itaipu reservoir, in aquaculture areas and parks. 

GEOGRAPHIC COVERAGE: Micro regional (municipalities of Iguassu Falls, Santa Terezinha de Itaipu, São Miguel do Iguaçu, Missal, Itaipulândia, Santa Helena, Entre Rios do Oeste, Pato Bragado, Marechal Cândido Rondon, Mercedes and Guaíra)

 

 

B - Practice Description

 

1 - BACKGROUND

Brazil has a fishing potential like few countries in the world due to the high volume of maritime and continental waters, such as the numerous reservoirs of hydroelectric plants, like the Itaipu reservoir. According to government guidelines, the new mission of Itaipu expanded the scope of the company’s business operations with the inclusion of social and environmental responsibility. 

Since the formation of the Itaipu reservoir in 1982, the fishing communities that live between Iguassu Falls and Guaíra grew from 200 to almost 800 families. In addition to these artisanal fisherfolk, that depend on fishing to survive, the region harbours indigenous communities, agricultural settlers and river communities that see this activity as an alternative to complement their family income. At the start of the last decade, socioeconomic studies showed that 94% of the fisherfolk have a monthly income of less than 2 minimum wages; that fish farmer could help to increase fish production by reducing the pressure of extractivist fishing on the natural stock; that the demand for fish in Brazil had skyrocketed; that extractivist fish productivity in the Itaipu reservoir was stable; and that a policy of the federal government to encourage production in reservoirs was on the agenda. There was also the need to put the actions that favoured the fishing and indigenous communities of the Paraná III Basin (P3B) into practice.

To this end, Binacional incorporated public policies that target aquaculture and fishing in its reservoir. Then, in 2003, the net pen aquaculture project was implemented as part of the actions of the Cultivating Good Water programme.

 

2 - OVERALL GOALS

The main goal of the PPNA is to promote social inclusion and improve the quality of life of the fisherfolk, settlers and indigenous communities by promoting the sustainable fisheries production chain in the reservoir area of the plant.

Specific objectives:

  • Increase the number of fish farmers in the area surrounding the plant’s reservoir;
  • Improve the working conditions of fishing communities, and the conditions for slaughtering and commercializing fish;
  • Establish partnerships to provide training and education for the target public;
  • Research better fish management and harvesting techniques;
  • License the areas for aquaculture and fish farming;
  • Promote cooperativism;
  • Support and divulge ways to commercialize production.

 

3 - ADOPTED SOLUTION

The programme provides several activities to reach its objective, some of which are linked to other actions of the Cultivating Good Water programme. These activities include:

  • Organization of the target public into associations or cooperatives;
  • Promotion and support for regional aquaculture with the implementation of net pens and training for artisanal fisherfolk, indigenous communities, settlements and river communities;
  • Creation of aquaculture parks to guarantee project sustainability and comply with current laws;
  • Adequation of the fishing points where fisherfolk can handle fish in better sanitary conditions;
  • Monitoring of professional and recreational fishing;
  • Research and studies on aquaculture through agreements with governmental organs and higher education institutions;
  • Fish rescue at the plant generator units;
  • Provision of fish deboning machines, which allows fisherfolk to offer their production for school meals and the consumer market that did not previously accept the production due to fish bones;
  • Creation of a Germplasm Bank;
  • Construction of the Piracema Canal and studies on fish migration.

All programme actions are shared through partnerships and agreements. A management committee composed of representatives of the main entities linked to the programme administers and discusses the demands and activity proposals. Currently, the committee is formed by fisherfolk colonies and associations of the Paraná III Basin, the Institute of Technical Assistance and Rural Extension of Paraná – EMATER, The Environmental Institute of Paraná – IAP, the Brazilian Institute of Environment – IBAMA, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture – MPA, the Ministry of Agriculture – MAPA, ITAIPU Binacional, universities, unions and local town councils.  

 

4 - RESULTS 

The main results of the programme are:

  • Provision of more than 500 net pens to the fisherfolk colonies for fish farming, together with training and technical orientation. Currently, 26 fisherfolk in different municipalities of the P3B directly participate in the project and cultivate fish in net pens in the Itaipu reservoir. Production in 2013/2014 was estimated at 145,000 kg of fish;
  • Installation of 40 net pens in the Ocoy indigenous community as requested by the Funai and the people of the community. The pens yield an annual production of approximately 12 tonnes of fish, which contributes to the village food security;
  • Production of more than 50 thousand juvenile fish of the Pacu species to stock the net pens;
  • Training for more than 200 fisherfolk and their families on cultivating fish in net pens;
  • Environmental licence from IBAMA to make the large permanent conservation strip that protects the margins of the reservoir with the fishing activities. There are 63 fishing spots between Iguassu Falls and Guaíra with the capacity to house approximately 630 fisherfolk; and the remaining fisherfolk can access these same spots for fishing activities;
  • Edition and distribution of more than 2 thousand copies of the booklet Good Practices of Aquaculture Management;
  • Demarcation and licensing of three aquaculture parks that have the joint potential to produce more than 6 thousand tonnes of fish per year. These parks, the first in the country, were essential to guarantee project sustainability and compliance with the current fish cultivation laws;
  • Structuring and maintenance of a research station with 70 net pens at the Santa Helena Biological Sanctuary, were research was conducted on native species for 4 years, by means of an agreement between Itaipu and the Federal University of Western Paraná - Unioeste. Currently, Itaipu also has a station inside the plant with 90 net pens and one laboratory. Research sheds light on the routine of aqua farmers and generates practical knowledge that is used to perfect cultivation techniques;
  • Construction of a collective use module for primary fish handling in 15 fishing spots by means of a partnership with the town councils, thus providing better hygiene and cleaning conditions;
  • Partnership with Palmares Company to conduct a study in the 18 remaining arms in the Brazilian margin of the reservoir. This mapping project provided knowledge on all the areas that could be licensed for aquaculture. In this mapped area alone, the estimated potential of production is 9 thousand tonnes per year, which is nine times the current artisanal fish production.

 

5 - NECESSARY RESOURCES

Professionals (technicians and engineers) with a specialization in aquaculture or fish farming in net pens are needed to implement the project.

In relation to infrastructure, the project needs a support laboratory that serves as a demonstration basis, boats for going to the cultivation areas, maintenance of net pens, scales, dip nets, equipment for measuring water quality parameters, a net pen handling barge, signalling buoys, net pens and nursery tanks for stocking juveniles.

 

6 - TRANSFERS

This practice is being replicated in the fishing colonies and fisherfolk associations that are partners of the PPNA. Production evaluation and planning meetings are held every year. Every month, each producer transfers production information that the technicians use to evaluate performance and the need for a local visit to provide case-to-case technical orientations.

Furthermore, groups of fisherfolk that are interested in producing fish in net pens are offered training courses for this type of production. These courses are offered through partnerships of Itaipu with Unioeste and the Federal Institute of Paraná - IFPR.

 

7 - LESSONS LEARNED

The greatest challenge of the project was to transform extractivist fisherfolk into aqua farmers and fish producers. This was only possible with 40 classroom hours of education and theoretic/practical training courses. To be effective, the extension model has to be horizontal and make fisherfolk the agents of their own transformation and the disseminators of technology to others, who consider the agent a reference. This also means that we must respect individual limitations and exploit their skills.

The success of fisherfolk that because producers serves as an example to others and encourages the participation of new fisherfolk in the programme.

 

Visitations are also possible with an appointment, especially during the Piracema period between November and April.

 

Number of visitors: from 01 to 30.

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