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Genetic identification of tambaqui. (Photo: Sebrae/RO)

Warnings of fish potential genetic changes and extinction in the Amazon

Click on the flag for more information about Brazil BRAZIL
Monday, April 09, 2012, 00:30 (GMT + 9)

The increased concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the water interferes with fish growth and development in the Amazon basin, an expert in animal physiology stated.

One of the main consequences of these changes is the reduction in the size of fish, up to one third of its average size.

Marise Margareth Sakuragui a specialist, as well as the researchers Alzira Oliveira and Vera Almeida, who are also studying the growth of tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum), argue that the changes may begin to be observed in the coming years.

"When the water pH is altered, the food supply and the development of fish are harmed," Sakuragui explains.

"Younger fish may adjust but their growth will be impaired. They will not be healthy fish but they will be like 'malnourished children.'"

Increased water temperature and the lack of oxygen can make fish be less resistant to disease and to changes in their habitat, and this, in Sakuragui’s view, can cause the extinction of several species.

"We expect changes in the composition of fatty acids and other biochemical changes. Changes may occur, and, according to our research, in fact they are going to take place," Oliveira assured.

Meanwhile, Almeida argues that the changes can have disastrous effects on the lives of coastal communities.

"They will be affected negatively as a result of the reduction in the supply of protein of this species," he warns.

Tambaqui, like pirarucu or paiche (Arapaima gigas), are resistant resources and are really adaptable to climate and habitat changes but other species are more susceptible to these changes.

"The climate is changing and we feel that year after year. If we do not act now, with the reduction of deforestation, in 10 years we will have a different world not only in Amazon but also around the world," warns Sakuragui, according to D24AM.

The researchers participated in a workshop organized by the National Institute of Science and Technology (INCT) at the National Institute of Amazon Research (INPA).

By Analia Murias



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