The Magdalena River, one of the largest rivers in Colombia, is once again full of fish and soon all kinds of fish-related activities will recommence throughout the entire El Quimbo river basin.
The first phase of the project to repopulate the Colombian river was successful. Enel Green Power in collaboration with the Universidad Surcolombiana is undertaking this extremely important operation to protect biodiversity while revitalizing the local economy.
Over 200 thousand small fish, all endemic species at risk of extinction – mainly Pimelodus grosskopfii, Prochilodus Magdalenae and Ichthyoelephas longirostris – were released upstream at El Quimbo.
Our research contribution
The first fry (as baby fish are called) released were the result of 10 years of research by experts from the Surcolombiana Experimental Station for Hydro-biological Resources (ESRH).
The plant, built by Enel Green Power (an investment of approximately 900 million pesos, i.e. 250 thousand euro) and available for use by the Colombian university, is the first ever specialized research center dedicated to studying and repopulating the Magdalena River’s indigenous species. As such, it has been certified by the Colombian Institute of Agriculture (ICA). It was built as part of the Programa Íctico y Pesquero del Alto Magdalena (Upper Magdalena Fisheries Program) in which Enel Green Power has been involved for six years and has invested 15 billion Colombian pesos.
Fish ready for a new life
The project signifies the repopulating the river with indigenous species never before bred, especially the Pimelodus grosskopfii, which will be reintroduced to the country for the first time. It also guarantees effective support for economic development by counteracting the decline of communities dependent on fishing, as fishing on the banks of the Magdalena River can begin again in future.
“Repopulating the river with fish, which has just begun, will bring significant benefits to the people living in the Huila Department. The goal is to conserve endemic species of fish which provide a source of income for the region. That’s why this project will definitely have a positive impact on the 200 plus fishermen who work along the river from Puerto Seco to La Jagua.”
– Marco Fragale, manager of Enel-Emgesa
EGP’s renewables challenge in Colombia
In Colombia, Enel Green Power is on the front line of the transition towards renewable energy and is creating new opportunities that favor sustainable development models with low environmental impact.
Last spring, the El Paso photovoltaic power plant, the largest solar plant to date in Colombia, entered into operation. Four more projects - three wind (Windpeshi, Tumawind and Chemesky) and one solar (La Loma) – won the Cargo por Confiabilidad renewable energy production bid.
In addition to developing new plants, EGP is also committed to protecting the country’s environment, biodiversity and local communities.
Last year, for example, we launched a project to save the Bogota River, one of the most polluted rivers in Colombia. While building the El Paso facility, we launched various training initiatives in the area aiming to create professionals in the renewables sector.