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Fishing in Mesopotamia Argentina

Fishing in Mesopotamia Argentina


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A critical look at the management and handling of fishery resources. To improve the situation, the paradigms and approaches that are being applied in the region should be modified.
Inland freshwater fisheries in Argentina are of growing interest and importance, which is why it is necessary to establish sustainable management and management guidelines that maintain resources of socioeconomic value at adequate levels and preserve those of greater ecological value. Historically, the lack of clear policies - or changes in the paradigms on what should be considered as successful management - has made the management of these fisheries difficult and generated conflictive situations, promoting that many of the existing resources are under a situation of threat, or they continue to be managed without an adequate theoretical-practical basis.

OUR REGION
In the particular case of Mesopotamian fisheries, the problems encountered for the development of a rational and planned management of the "fishing" resource are certainly due to multiple and complex causes of an administrative, political, technical and even academic nature. A first aspect that characterizes these fisheries, and that differentiates them markedly from others in Argentina, is that they develop in large rivers. Thus, the main "white" species (dorado, tarpon, pacú, surubí, patí, manguruyú, etc.) carry out important reproductive migrations, which is why their management transcends provincial and even international jurisdictional limits, and forces to face an administration of resources at the basin level.
But there are also other difficulties that are no less relevant: provincial resource management and management structures appear to be not very functional compared to the magnitude of the resources and the vast areas of distribution that they exhibit. In this context, there is an urgent need to regionalize this management through the creation of technical delegations located in those sites that have recognized fishing importance. This, in any case, will not be able to prosper as long as certain precepts that have dominated the scene of the administration of fishing resources for decades in Argentina are not modified. I refer to the delegation of their research almost completely in the science and technology circuit (Conicet; universities). The harmful belief that provincial administrations should not, or could not, carry out appropriate level evaluations has meant a stagnation and a deficit in the training of human resources that today does not appear easy to reverse.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PLANNING AND ORDERING RESOURCES
Not surprisingly, there are few research and evaluation programs presented that are based on the formulation of explicit long-term goals and are supported by the development of concrete and achievable objectives. The lack of discernment and a kind of confusion evidenced in the application of these key aspects for the management of all resources have ended up wasting, in many cases, the efforts made by the provincial administrations, without having obtained concrete results. This deficit is perceived by the community and the users of the resource in general, who demand measures and solutions for problems such as uncontrolled poaching, the allocation of sustainable catch quotas for artisanal fishing, adaptation of regulatory measures for sport fishing, fishing programs. sowing, mitigation of impacts from infrastructure works, among others.

THE VALUE OF THE INFORMATION

However, the management of fisheries resources cannot be carried out without an adequate information base developed over long periods of time. Very little is known about the historical evolution of catches in the basin, the efforts applied and all that information related to socioeconomic aspects, which makes it extremely difficult to determine the degree of exploitation that the resources currently support, diagnose their evolution and still not being able to know exactly what its true fishing potential is. It will never be enough to insist that there is no possible management of any fishery resource without adequate basic information. Therefore, as long as the provincial administrations do not undertake complete monitoring and evaluation programs for their sport and artisanal fisheries in the long term, it will be virtually impossible to develop sustainable management guidelines. A good example of this are the existing regulations on catch quotas for different species, which, strictly speaking, are not based on any technical document that supports them. The application of these "domino type" regulations for different species in various provinces of Mesopotamia is perhaps a reflection of the impossibility of issuing management guidelines on adequate technical bases.

Not all sectors of the basin have the same ecological characteristics, nor do all its fisheries exhibit similar conditions (abundance of species, conflict between sport and artisanal fishing, type of fisheries, etc.), so these regulations should also be adapted to the local or regional conditions and, at the same time, articulate with the management carried out in other sectors of the basin. Likewise, the loss of quality of sport fisheries, perceived empirically through a decrease in catch per unit of effort, and reduction of sizes in the contests that take place in different areas of the region, constitutes a serious warning and an important indicator. that the fisheries are not being managed properly.
Likewise, the development of road works that affect the water dynamics of the system (Rosario-Victoria bridge), dams that hinder migration (Salto Grande; Yacyretá), the destruction of riparian wetlands and the persistent contamination of water by untreated effluents, are also some of the significant factors that impact, directly or indirectly, on the ichthyofauna.

NEED FOR NEW APPROACHES
The panorama of inland fisheries management is, of course, not alien to the country's socio-economic crisis, but it is aggravated by the application of economic models that neglect and underestimate the missions and functions that the State should have. Resource management is one of them, for which we also need resource managers and trained technical teams, who have a modern conception of what management and management implies. This necessarily includes the ability to integrate ecological, cultural, social, economic, political aspects, etc., and to understand the scope of the temporal and spatial scales of the different processes that affect the dynamics and evolution of fishery resources in Basin.


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