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Action Before Extinction: an International Workshop on Fish Genetic Conservation (1998)

WFT brought together representatives of fish genetic conservation programs around the world to discuss techniques and policies.

Genetic conservation means saving genetic variability before it disappears. A number of nations have begun fish genetic conservation programs, and more are being planned.

With Action Before Extinction, WFT brought representatives of these programs together for the first time, to discuss techniques and policies. The workshop was held in February 1998, in Vancouver, and was attended by delegates from fifteen countries, including Canada.

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With support from: Alcan Aluminum Ltd., BC Hydro, BC Ministry of Fisheries, Environment Canada, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Creative Salmon Co., Fisheries and Oceans Canada, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and the Robert Schad Foundation.


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Coastal communities of northeastern Brazil are some of the most disadvantaged in the country. The lower social classes in these areas have traditionally relied on artisanal fisheries of coastal marine resources, including fish, shellfish, and algae. Fishing of bivalve molluscs is an important economic activity in many coastal communities of northeastern Brazil. However, decades of uncontrolled and unplanned collection has exhausted natural stocks. In addition, pollution from urban development is seriously contaminating remaining clam beds - resulting in serious environmental and socio-economic consequences. 


  • Building fishing community capacity for co-management
  • Building sustainable livelihoods in fishing communities
  • Transferring technologies to secure and build the resource
  • Developing policies for sustainable fishing and community participation in management
  • Creating awareness of Brazilian river fisheries and ecosystems
  • Creating opportunities for youth and families

Brazil Migratory Fish Conservation (1999-2001)

A three-year project to promote the conservation and awareness of migratory fish species in four major river basins in Brazil, with the aim of ensuring the preservation - and thus permitting the utilization - of native Brazilian fish genetic diversity.

Brazilian rivers are home to a spectacular variety of large migratory fish species of high economic and social value. These species make long annual journeys upriver to spawn, but their biology and distribution are not well known.

Like so much of the world's freshwater species, many of these migratory fish have been declining in numbers and diversity for decades. As with salmon in North America, the reasons for the decline in South American migratory fish stocks are complex. They include overfishing, pollution, loss of habitat, deforestation and the construction of dams that block migration routes.

Together with a network of Brazilian and Canadian partners, WFT carried out a three-year project to promote the conservation and awareness of migratory fish species in four major river basins in Brazil. The project's goal, "to ensure the preservation, and thus permit the utilization, of native Brazilian fish genetic diversity", was accomplished though training, technology development, networking and public awareness in both Canada and Brazil.



Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina

Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul

Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais

Centrais Eléctricas do Sul do Brasil S.A.

Central Eléctrica de Furnas

Companhia de Desenvolvimento do Vale do São Francisco

Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Renováveis Fundação Biodiversitas


Canadian International Development Agency

Seastar Biotech Inc.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada


Brazilian institutions that became part of the network associated with the project and/or benefited from project activities, beyond the original partners, include:

Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica

Associação Mineira de Aquicultura

Companhia de Saneamento do Distrito Federal, Brasília

Centro de Apoio ao Pescador (Três Marias, MG)

Centro Nacional de Pesquisa de Peixes Tropicais

Empresa Brasileiro de Pesquisa Agropecuario

Fundação ZooBotanica de Belo Horizonte

Instituto Estadual de Florestas (Minas Gerais)

ITAIPU Binacional

Ministerio do Meio Ambiente

Piscicultura Panama Ltda. (Santa Caterina)

Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Minas

Secretaria de Meio Ambiente e Desenvolvimento (Minas Gerais)

Departamentos de Pesca e Servico de Inspeção de Pescado e Derivados / Ministerio de Agricultura e do Abastecimento (Brasilia)

Secretaria de Recursos Hídricos (Brasilia)

Universidade Estadual de São Paulo

Universidade do Vale de Sinos (Rio Grande do Sul)

Universidade Federal de Lavras (Minas Gerais)

Universidade do Oeste de Santa Caterina

Universidade de São Paulo 


Canadian and North American institutions that participated in project activities, beyond those initially proposed:

BC Hydro

BC Ministry of Environment

BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands

BC Ministry of Forests and Range

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Future SEA Technologies Inc.

International Development Research Centre

LGL Ltd. Environmental Research Associates

LOTEK Wireless Inc.

Memorial University

Northwest Marine Technology Inc.

Sea Spring Salmon Farms Ltd.

Texas Parks and Wildlife

Vancouver Aquarium

WestGen - Western Canada's Genetic Centre