Peru government prohibits extraction of paiche from Ucayali’s Imiría Lake for next 10 years

Peru has prohibited the extraction of paiche and other fish from Ucayali’s Imiría and Chauya Lakes until 2019, reported state news agency Andina on Thursday.

The regulation, published today in official state daily El Peruano, is applicable only to commercial extraction, and not to subsistence fishing.

As one of the largest freshwater fishes in the world, the paiche, which is also known as arapaima, or pirarucu, provides for a valuable source of food for Peru’s indigenous communities. One individual fish can yield as more than 100 kilograms of meat.

A paiche can reach lengths of up to 3 meters, or 10 feet. But, as one of the most sought after food fish species in South America and because it is primarily captured by handheld nets and floating cages for export and by spearfishing for local consumption, large specimens of more than 2 meters are seldom found in the wild today.

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