Rainbow Trouts: the story of Humberto Garcia

Fig 1. Humberto is 83 years old and the only worker in this project

Viveiro de Trutas Arco-Íris is a place which was created by Humberto Garcia, near the Sótão river. He first got inspired when he went to Serra da Estrela where he was able to contact with a fishpond of trouts. He considered it an excellent idea and he decided to recreate it in Góis, since the conditions in here were ideal for trouts to grow. It was a long term process for Humberto, because he had difficulties on bringing the fish, given that it was complicated to find someone who was willing to sell them. Besides that, he also needed to create the optimal conditions for these fishes to survive in captivity. After 30 years of work, his effort has paid off because he could count with the council help and see the place developing into an attractive area where children can even play on the outdoors.

After all this process, Humberto achieved to bring to Góis two subspecies of trouts: rainbow trout and Fário trout. Rainbow trout is a native subspecies from North America and Asia, whereas Fário trout is from Northern Europe. Viveiro de Trutas Arco-Íris is also trying to create autochthonous trouts, which also belong to the subspecies Fário, but they only have a survival rate of 1%. This is due to the fact that these trouts, in their natural environment, are predators that hunt by themselves, while in captivity they are forced to live in groups. Moreover, the introduction of rainbow trouts, which have a survival rate of 99%, may affect native species by preying on them, out-competing them and transmitting diseases.

Fig 2. Humberto has about 3000 to 4000 trouts in captivity

On top of that, Humberto had to create a nursery in order to allow the fishes to have a slow growth and an easy adaptation to their natural environment. First of all, the trout eggs take about two full moons or two new moons to hatch and they have to stay in the nursery for 2 to 3 months. The trouts are fed with AQUASOJA, which is a sustainable fish feed, and they take about 4 to 5 years until they reach adulthood, with an average weight of 1 kg.  Currently, Humberto has about 3000 to 4000 trouts in captivity.
One of the most important things about this project is the sustainability and the eco-friendly way of creating fish that is promoted here. In other words, this is not a large scale production that pollutes or interferes with the river natural dynamic.  Actually, this is a project that aims to reborn the river, in a way that trouts can only survive and reproduce in clean and fresh water.

According to the Engineer Helena Pedruco, who works in Góis Council, they are not only planning to open an Interpretation Centre but also a leisure area where visitors can relax and enjoy Nature, in about 3 months. Recently, the city hall has established cooperation with Humberto, so that he continues to develop the area and growing up his idea. However, this 83 year old men, is, at this time, the only daily worker of this project.

In conclusion, Humberto’s approach is extremely innovative and it has a positive effect on the environment.  It is an excellent example of sustainable development, since it promotes Góis economical and social development as well as the ability of natural ecosystems to subsist.

Group 4

Carolina Gomes, Inês Matos, Matej Majersky, Demetris Christodoulou, Asli can Çoplu