World Aquaculture Society Meetings

CONTRIBUTION OF AMAZONIAN FISH TO BOLIVIAN LIVELIHOODS AND FOOD SECURITY, AND QUALITY CONTROL IN BOLIVIA MARKET  

Joachim Carolsfeld, Álvaro Céspedes, Rodrigo Daza
PECES PARA LA VIDA II - World Fisheries Trust/Canada - IMG Consulting/Bolivia
Av. Ayacucho # 435 - Cochabamba - Bolivia
yogi@worldfish.org

Bolivia is a landlocked country in the middle of South America, in the headwaters of the Amazon with substantial floodplain regions and associated tropical Amazonian fisheries.  While overall fish consumption is not high, local consumption can be quite substantial and current government policies are promoting increased use of local fish resources.  Artisanal fisheries and small-scale aquaculture supply these markets, sold in spaces ranging from informal street-side open air structures to more substantial formal infrastructure or directly to hotels and restaurants.  Value chains vary from farm-gate sales, through small-scale local intermediaries, to larger scale intermediaries that serve urban centers.  Fish quality under these conditions can be precarious, and improving practices is challenging.  This paper provides an overview of Bolivian markets for Amazonian fish and their contribution to livelihoods and local food security.  Current fish handling practices are examined - from the boat to the plate - and efforts to improve fish consumption and quality from legislative and practical perspectives are described.  Experiments on decomposition rates and Torres-inspired species-specific characteristics for assessing freshness of several representative Amazonian fish species are also described.  

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