27 stranded Arapaimas rescued by Iwokrama, North Rupununi residents


Two Juvenile Arapaima in a tub. [Lakeram Haynes Photo]
Two Juvenile Arapaima in a tub. [Lakeram Haynes Photo]
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Two adult and 25 juvenile Arapaimas were safely moved from a drying pond located upstream the Essequibo River from the Iwokrama River Lodge.

According to press statement from the Iwokrama International Centre, the dedicated team of Iwokrama staffers and community residents spent the day of November 10, 2015 carefully transferring the fish to the river body.

The statement noted that Iwokrama management was informed of the stranded Arapaimas on November 02 by officials from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and sent a monitoring team the next day, led by Head Ranger, to investigate.

“One adult Arapaima and several juveniles were seen in the pond that was drying out and very muddy. Concerned Fair View residents, who reside within the Iwokrama Reserve on 22, 000 hectares of their titled land, later reported that they had seen not one, but two adults in the pond,” the statement noted.

Kevin Edwards, Everton Allicock, Rojas Jonas and Stephanu Honorio with the second adult Arapaima. [Lakeram Haynes Photo]
Kevin Edwards, Everton Allicock, Rojas Jonas and Stephanu Honorio with the second adult Arapaima. [Lakeram
Haynes Photo]
It was further noted that with the critical dry season currently being experienced in that region due to the El Nino effect, the partners soon realised that if the fish were not moved from the pond, they would perish.

“Consultations were quickly held with relevant partners including North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB) community experts, Fisheries Department, EPA and researcher Dr Lesley de Souza to come up with a rescue plan.

“An expert team of local fishermen from Fair View, Kwatamang and Rewa Villages and Iwokrama staffers executed the rescue mission on November 10th. Special protocols were applied to ensure safe transfer to the river.”

The Arapaima is the largest freshwater scaled fish in the world and is legally protected in Guyana. The NRDDB in collaboration Iwokrama and other partners developed an Arapaima Management plan, which is legally recognised by the Government of Guyana. This plan has recently been revised.

The Rescue Team:

  1. Micah Davis, Iwokrama, Head Ranger (Toka Village)
  2. Kevin Edwards, Iwokrama, Tourism coordinator (Kwaimatta Village)
  3. Lakeram Haynes, Kwatamang Sr. Council and NRDDB treasurer
  4. Stephanu Honorio, Rewa Village Council
  5. Dennis Edwards, Iwokrama boat captain/Fair View
  6. Bernard Williams, Iwokrama boat captain/Fair View
  7. Rojas Jonas, Fair View Village
  8. Dora Jonas, Fair View Village
  9. Lucy Marslowe, Toshao, Fair View
  10. Everton Allicock, Fair View Village
  11. Ivor Ignacio, Fair View Village
  12. Samantha James, Iwokrama, Outreach Manager/Kwatamang Village
  13. Rockland Leo, Fair View Village
  14. Deon Bernard, Fair View Village
  15. Carmella Williams, Kwatamang Village


  1. Rescue of the arapaimas bodes well for natural conservation in Guyana; it shows that a well coordinated group with the relevant skills and qualifications were able to get together and take effective action in a timely manner. The sustainability of this conservation, according to a report from Mr Lawrence Lachmansingh, seems to have been incorporated by the natural site and hopefully monitoring by the high level of awareness exhibited by the local citizenry. Good job all!

  2. These men should be awarded for their good action of saving these Fishes.May God reward them if our Gov’t can’t.


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