On April 21st, in commemoration of the "World Fish Migration Day", WCS held an event in Rurrenabaque dedicated to two of the migratory fish of the Beni river basin: the chipi chipi (Trichomycterus barbouri), a fish barely 3 cm long, and the dorado (Brachyplatystoma rousseauxii), which can reach up to 110 cm in length. The aim was to raise awareness among the population about the importance of freshwater currents for the life cycle of fish.
The Institute of Research for Development (IRD), the Institute of Ecology, the Autonomous Municipal Government of Rurrenabaque, the Indigenous Council of the Tacana People (CIPTA), the Madidi National Park and Natural Area for Integrated Management and the Pilón Lajas Biosphere Reserve and Indigenous Territory participated in the organization of the event. The attendance at the conference given by Guido Miranda, the WCS Wildlife Management Coordinator, was relevant. Nearly 100 people were present, including authorities and staff from the Mayor's Office of Rurrenabaque, park guards and technicians from Madidi and Pilón Lajas, representatives of indigenous organizations, members of fishermen's associations, teachers and students from school units and the general public.
The event achieved an important impact on the media, especially on local TV channels. A banner was placed in the port of Rurrenabaque and posters and stickers were distributed about these fish species, with messages about the need to maintain aquatic connectivity, reduce overfishing and protect breeding areas. One issue that stood out was the impacts of the dams. The dams of the Madera River were taken as examples, since the migratory routes of many species were broken, leaving the Beni, the Madre de Dios, the Mamoré and the Iténez river basins isolated from the Amazon.
The interest generated by the scientific talks motivated the attendees and authorities to express the urgent need to take immediate action to prevent these emblematic fish species and other species from being lost. A need that has been picked up by local fishermen and local authorities that have requested WCS technical support to develop fisheries conservation regulations.