Event to form a working group for the Striped Catfish in the Middle Magdalena
The meeting was held under the direction of the Wetlands Foundation (Fundación Humedales), an organization that carries out conservation actions for this species in the Middle Magdalena.
The main objective of the meeting was to discuss and agree on establishing an instrument that allows to join institutional and community forces to optimize conservation work for the Striped Catfish. Similarly, this instrument should aim to help improve the conditions of the fishermen in the Middle Magdalena basin.
It is important to remember that the Striped Catfish is a species endemic to the basin of the Magdalena River and represents an important source of income for fishermen in the region. Unfortunately, various causes, both environmental and related to overfishing, have led to a sharp decline in its population.
Hence, as part of the agenda items discussed at the meeting, some principles and axes of the fisheries policy in our country were addressed, on which the management of the Striped Catfish and strengthening the fishing industry is based.
Similarly, the policy of participatory governance was also discussed, and the partnership between producers and users of fishery resources reflected upon. All of these discussion were directed towards improving the efficiency of the state in conserving natural resources and improving the quality of life of fishing communities in the region.
This important event was attended by María Tabares, regional director of the Fisheries Unit (AUNAP) Santander branch, and Henry Parra, Secretary of Environment for the mayor of Barrancabermeja. Cormagdalena delegates from the National Police were also present, the Regional Corporation of Santander (CAS) and the mayor of Barrancabermeja. Likewise, various representatives of WCS and the fishing communities of San Rafael de Chucurí and Bocas del Carare, took part in the meeting.
As a major conclusion of the meeting, it was agreed to create the Striped Catfish Working Group. This must be ascribed to the ‘Nodo de Pesca’ of the Middle Magdalena (the agency in charge of official implementation of fisheries policies, operated by the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority; AUNAP).
Among the different benefits that the Striped Catfish working group will offer, is its facilitating role in coordination and communication between the actors involved in the conservation of the Striped Catfish and the development of the fishing community of the Middle Magdalena.
It should be mentioned that the Wetlands Foundation (Fundación Humedales) works together with WCS for Project Wildlife (Proyecto Vida Silvestre). This initiative, which protects ten important species both in the Eastern Plains and in the Middle Magdalena, has the support of Ecopetrol and the Mario Santo Domingo Foundation.