Picarucu rescued in Municipality of Borba

Six young pirarucu fish were rescued and donated to the Environmental Secretariat in Borba.

Rescued Pirarucu donated to the Municipality of Borba

The young fish were donated to SEMTMA, the Secretariat for Environment in Borba. They were taken to the Lira Lake in the municipality’s preservation area.  The pirarucu were rescued from the Mapiá road area within the Municipality of Borba, Amazonas.  The Environmental Secretariat will track the puppies, with six-monthly follow-up.

Native species to the Amazon Basin

The pirarucu is also known as Arapaima Gigas and  is one of the largest freshwater fish on the planet. It is a species of arapaima native to the Amazon Basin.

It promotes benefits to the ecosystem and communities that live from fishing. Its name comes from two indigenous terms pira, “fish”, and annatto, “red”, due to the color of its tail.

The length when adult usually varies from two to three meters, and the weight, from 100 to 200 kg. It has two breathing apparatus, the gills, for aquatic breathing, and the modified swim bladder, specialized to function as a lung in air breathing.

  • Pirarucu rescued and donated to the Municipality of Borba
  • Rescued Pirarucu cared for in the Municipality of Borba
  • Pirarucu babies rescued in Municipality of Borba

Extinction Risk

With the increase in commercial fishing in recent decades, fish stocks have come under increasing pressure. This has an impact on the populations of the main commercial species, such as arapaima.

The species is at risk of extinction due to predatory fishing practiced over many years. The natural reproduction of the fish is insufficient to replace the number of arapaima caught. The unsustainable exploitation caused IBAMA – Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources – to create in 2004 a Normative Instruction that regulates pirarucu fishing in the Amazon. This prohibits the fishing in some months of the year and establishing minimum sizes for fishing and commercialization of the species.