The Amazon Basin is the largest and more pristine watershed in Brazil with the highest freshwater fish diversity in the world and sustaining widespread small-scale fisheries. Although large tracts of the Amazon remain in good ecological condition, excessive fishing pressure had decreased the size and abundance of some large commercial fishes.
In the last decades, several locally based and bottom-up co-management systems emerged in the Brazilian Amazon, on which local communities manage fishing territories (usually floodplain lakes), by excluding outsiders that do not follow management rules, such as fishing restrictions or no-take areas. Co-management may improve fishing yields and increase fish abundance in the more productive white water floodplains.
Area: 5.5 Million km2
Population: Estimated 30 million people, nine different political systems (see below). The Amazon basin is home to 350 ethnic groups, 60 of which remain almost completely isolated.
Jurisdictions: Brazil (64%), Peru (10%), Colombia (6.2%), Bolivia (6.2%), Ecuador (1.5%), Venezuela (5.8%), Others – Guyana, Surinam and French Guiana (5.9%)
Ecology: The Amazon is typically warm all year round with temperatures from 22-43 degrees Celsius, there is also high humidity. Due to the size and variety of habitats, the Amazon basin is the most ecologically diverse place on Earth. The Amazon basin “houses at least 10% of the world’s known biodiversity, including endemic and endangered flora and fauna, and it’s river accounts for 15-16%of the world’s total river discharge into the oceans” (WWF, 2019). The Amazon river itself is over 6600 km long, has hundreds of tributaries and streams and contains the most diverse and largest amount of freshwater fish species in the world (WWF, 2019).
- Average temperature of the Amazon is between 22-34 degrees C with high humidity.
- Most ecologically diverse place on Earth, housing at least 10% of the worlds known biodiversity, including endemic and endangered flor and fauna.
- Amazon river accounts for 15-16% of the worlds total discharge into the oceans
- The Amazonian biome is two times the size of India
- The Amazon river is over 6600 km long – contains most diverse/largest amount of freshwater species in the world.
Development: Forestry and large scale agricultural development. Currently, land clearing (through fire!) is significantly reducing forest canopy which may have a impact on the quality of water in amazonian rivers. “The Amazon has lost at least 17% of its forest cover, its connectivity has been in has been increasingly disrupted, and numerous endemic species have been subjected to waves of resource exploitation” (WWF, 2019).
- 17% of the forest cover has been lost in the last 50 years.
- Currently, land conversion and deforestation in the Amazon releases up to 0.5 billion metric tons of carbon per year, not including emissions from forest fires
- Most important international concern is the deforestation