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Recent tensions between productive opportunities and conservation risks: case studies on fish, fisheries and aquaculture in southern Patagonia

September 23 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Free

Speaker: Dr. Facundo Llompart
Researcher, Austral Center for Scientific Research (CADIC)

Argentina is experiencing a growing footprint of human activities on natural ecosystems. Pressure for economic growth, energy supply, and urban development has recently extended to isolated and almost pristine habitats in southern Patagonia. The main focus of this seminar is to present two study cases involving fish, fisheries, and aquaculture using personal contributions and to discuss alternatives considering the local socio-ecological context. A project to develop intensive salmonid aquaculture in the Beagle Channel (Ushuaia, Argentina) has aroused both interest and conflicts. Within the former, local government, and foreign companies highlight income and job opportunities, but marine ecosystem health is crucial for the latter. Have different profiles of people diverse perceptions about aquaculture? Does IMTA or native fish aquaculture a real alternative? What should be the role of scientists? On the other hand, an ongoing project of damming the Santa Cruz River is expected to inundate main spawning areas and disrupt native and exotic (salmonids) fish migration, among others. The predicted reduction of salmonids has reopened the management dilemma about maintaining their fisheries value as recreational targets and/or the need to protect native species. This new scenario creates tensions among different stakeholder groups, anglers, ONG and policymakers. Are the mitigation measures based on by-pass systems a possible solution, or is the problem continuity?