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Barletta M.,Federal University of Pernambuco | Jaureguizar A.J.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacion | Baigun C.,Instituto Tecnologico Of Chascomus | Fontoura N.F.,Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul | And 14 more authors.
Journal of Fish Biology | Year: 2010

Fish conservation in South America is a pressing issue. The biodiversity of fishes, just as with all other groups of plants and animals, is far from fully known. Continuing habitat loss may result in biodiversity losses before full species diversity is known. In this review, the main river basins of South America (Magdalena, Orinoco, Amazon and Paraná-La Plata system), together with key aquatic habitats (mangrove-fringed estuaries of the tropical humid, tropical semi-arid and subtropical regions) are analysed in terms of their characteristics and main concerns. Habitat loss was the main concern identified for all South American ecosystems. It may be caused by damming of rivers, deforestation, water pollution, mining, poor agricultural practice or inadequate management practice. Habitat loss has a direct consequence, which is a decrease in the availability of living resources, a serious social and economic issue, especially for South American nations which are all developing countries. The introduction of exotic species and overfishing were also identified as widespread across the continent and its main freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems. Finally, suggestions are made to find ways to overcome these problems. The main suggestion is a change of paradigm and a new design for conservation actions, starting with integrated research and aiming at the co-ordinated and harmonized management of the main transboundary waters of the continent. The actions would be focused on habitat conservation and social rescue of the less well-off populations of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. Energy and freshwater demands will also have to be rescaled in order to control habitat loss. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

Baigun C.R.M.,Instituto Tecnologico Of Chascomus | Nestler J.M.,University of Iowa | Minotti P.,National University of San Martín of Argentina | Oldani N.,CONICET
Neotropical Ichthyology | Year: 2012

The Route 28 Dam has the potential to block fish movements from La Estrella marsh to the Pilcomayo River. In addition, the many fish that concentrate immediately downstream of the dam may suffer high mortality when they are stranded during low water periods. The goals of this study are to determine if fish are able to pass the spillway and to assess if the design of the installed ladders (pool and weir type) effectively supports upstream migration of Prochilodus lineatus (sábalo). Results showed that only fish longer than 39 cm should be able to ascend the spillway chute, but when water levels on the spillway crest are over 0.4 m. Fish are also unable to jump from spillway toe to spillway crest because the downstream dissipation pool does not meet the minimum depth criterion for fish to accelerate to sufficient velocity. Fish ladders have insufficient number of pools and some pool dimensions and designs depart from accepted standard designs. Volumetric dissipation power in the upper pool of each fish ladder is too low for fish to rest. Also, attraction flows relative to total spillway discharge at the entrance to each fishway are insufficient. Fish passage failures of both the spillway and pool and weir systems in La Estrella marsh can be traced to the "salmon-centric" concept used by the designers. We conclude that the Route 28 Dam design including its fish passage systems, do not follow criteria to cope with the strong hydrological variability and bioecological characteristics of fish inhabiting pulsatile systems such as La Estrella marsh. © 2012 Sociedade Brasileira de Ictiologia.

Balboni L.,Instituto Tecnologico Of Chascomus | Colautti D.C.,Instituto Tecnologico Of Chascomus | Baigun C.R.M.,Instituto Tecnologico Of Chascomus
Neotropical Ichthyology | Year: 2011

The trahira Hoplias aff. malabaricus is a top predator in pampean shallow lakes and is highly appreciated by recreational anglers and artisanal fishermen. Trahira growth from Yalca shallow lake was determined by lepidological analysis and age validated by marginal increment. When growth was fitted to the von Bertalanffy model, annual classes exhibited a bimodal pattern as a result of the presence of spring and summer annual cohorts associated with a three month spawning season, each period in turn showing different growth patterns. The trahira population-age structure at Yalca shallow lake showed a truncated profile with very low numbers of large adults and few individuals older than three to four years, thus producing an unbalanced length-structure population. Growth parameters and growth performance were similar to the corresponding parameters estimated for other shallow pampean lakes of the region, but strongly diverged from the data for those populations inhabiting subtropical and tropical environments. Such differences could be accounted for by dissimilarity in metabolic rates associated with thermal differences accompanying seasonal variability among latitudes as well as by the development of adaptive physiologic and demographic responses to cope with the high thermal amplitude and hydrologic instability observed in pampean lakes. © 2011 Sociedade Brasileira de Ictiologia.

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