Sabalo fishing in Pilcomayo River (Bolivia)


Photo credit: Rory Felix Mamani (Bolivia)

Review: Rory and Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

Sabalo fishing in Bolivia




The inserted photo shows indigenous people from the Weenhayek population during the fishing of  “sabalo” in Pilcomayo River using “cabbage nets”.

In Bolivia, Sábalo is the common name of an Amazonian fish that enjoys a good cultural acceptance and means so much as for a part of the local diet and income generation.

It worth mentioning that sabalo was formerly abundant in the Pilcomayo River and its fishing used to be a major importance for the fishermen as well as for the indigenous communities such as the Guarani and Weenhayek. However, the sabalo fishery experienced major events and practices which negatively affected the abundance and the fishery of the species.

The decline in sabalo catch has been mainly attributed to overexploitation and contamination of the river by mining activities in the upper course of the river. It is also believed that the 1990-1995 El Nino events contributed to the collapse of the sabalo in Bolivia. Moreover, the 17-kilometer drying stretch of the Pilcomayo River located in Argentine prevented the sabalo from swimming upstream and led to the trapping of huge quantities of the fish in water pools where they die.





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