Arapaima, pirarucu or paiche. (Photo: Alex Pazuello, amazonas.am.gov.br)
Rondônia, about to export farmed arapaima
Thursday, December 22, 2011, 00:40 (GMT + 9)
The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (MPA) and the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) agreed to launch a pilot project to allow the legalization of farming arapaima, paiche or pirarucu (Arapaima gigas) in captivity and of exporting it.
An order signed by MPA head, Luiz Sérgio and by Ibama president, Curt Trennepohl, opens the way for Amazonia states to start sending this fish resource abroad in 2012.
According to the Ministry, the arapaima is a product that arouses interest in Japanese, French and German markets.
The first state chosen to participate in this initiative is Rondônia because according to the counsel of MPA Department of Aquaculture, Mauro Sousa de Moura, it has already developed this species farming sector quite well, Portal A Crítica reported.
"The expectation is that after this pilot project other states will follow," explained Sousa de Moura.
"Indeed, no [state] is similar to Rondônia. Some states are starting arapaima production. When interest in the sector arises in other states, we will be able to issue a new Normative Instruction or abolish the current one," the official added.
As soon as the rule is published on Thursday in the Official Journal of the Union, the producers of the resource shall, within 90 days, enroll and submit the necessary documentation to the Ibama.
Thanks to its distinctive flavour and to its firm meat texture, the arapaima is considered the 'Cod from Amazonia'.
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By Analia Murias