Alta gastronomia carioca está de olho no pirarucu manejado da Amazônia

Até os pescadores mais experientes ficaram surpresos quando o animal saiu da água. Era uma fêmea de 2,44 m de comprimento, pesando 114 kg. O comentário geral foi de que ela estava muito magra, se estivesse mais cheia, chegaria aos 130 kg. Os ribeirinhos não foram os únicos impressionados pelo tamanho dos pirarucus abatidos no manejo deste ano. A renomada chef de cozinha Teresa Corção, dona do restaurante O Navegador e fundadora do Instituto Maniva, e Sérgio Abdon, consultor do Sindicato Patronal de Bares e Restaurantes do Rio de Janeiro (SindRio), visitaram a Reserva de Desenvolvimento Sustentável Amanã, no estado do Amazonas, entre os dias 24 e 26 de novembro, para conhecer o projeto do manejo sustentável de pirarucu, assessorado pelo Instituto Mamirauá e feito por comunidades ribeirinhas locais.

“É uma carne muito tenra, apesar de ser firme, e é muito suave, com um sabor muito delicado”, revela Teresa. “O peixe tem muito potencial gastronômico. Não só de ser comido fresco, mas também defumado, curado, como ceviche. Eu imaginei muitos processamentos possíveis e acho que outros chefs também vão ter ideias interessantes”.

A intenção da carioca de levar o pirarucu manejado da Amazônia ao mercado gastronômico do Rio de Janeiro está alinhada aos ideais do Instituto Maniva, do qual é fundadora. A organização reúne ‘ecochefs’ de renome da cidade em prol do movimento ‘Slow Food’, que propõe uma relação mais humana e sustentável entre restaurantes, consumidores e produtores de alimentos. Em uma inversão da lógica ‘fast food’, a ideia é valorizar uma alimentação prazerosa e de qualidade, que respeite a saúde do consumidor, o meio ambiente e as pessoas que trabalham para produzir a comida.

Para viabilizar o projeto, o Maniva se aliou ao SindRio, representado por Sérgio Abdon, que vê na proposta uma possibilidade de estreitar a relação do sindicato com os restaurantes. “Uma das nossas funções é oferecer aos associados produtos e serviços diferenciados. E entendemos que o pirarucu é um super produto, muito diferenciado”, explica Sérgio.

Para Sérgio, o trabalho com o pirarucu de manejo é uma excelente forma de vincular o SindRio ao conceito de sustentabilidade, relação fundamental para qualquer marca atualmente. “O que a gente vai fazer é subir dois degraus: o pirarucu é um produto que além de não agredir a natureza, gera renda para as comunidades ribeirinhas”, complementa.

O manejo sustentável de pirarucu na Amazônia

Mesmo já tendo constado na lista de espécies brasileiras ameaçadas de extinção (e ainda constar em algumas regiões), o maior peixe de escamas de água doce do mundo é hoje abundante nas reservas onde o manejo passou a ser implementado. Sua carne é muito apreciada em restaurantes do Amazonas. A recuperação do pirarucu e seu sucesso como produto alimentício é fruto de ações como as do Programa de Manejo de Pesca do Instituto Mamirauá, uma unidade de pesquisa do Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovações e Comunicações (MCTIC).

Desde os anos 90, o programa utiliza pesquisas científicas para elaborar estratégias de conservação para o animal, ao mesmo tempo que gera renda para as comunidades em unidades de conservação. Para tanto, uma cota de abate segura para a manutenção da espécie é determinada a cada ano, estabelecida por contagens minuciosas realizadas a partir do conhecimento tradicional dos próprios ribeirinhos.

Além de gerar renda para as comunidades, o trabalho envolve os moradores na conservação da biodiversidade. Os pescadores passam a fiscalizar o ambiente contra pescadores ilegais para proteger aquele recurso. “O manejo é um projeto guarda-chuva, porque envolve o zoneamento, vigilância, proteção das áreas, organização social. Quando você protege o território, mesmo que pensando somente no pirarucu, você acaba protegendo outras espécies também”, afirma Ana Cláudia Torres, coordenadora do Programa de Manejo de Pesca do Instituto Mamirauá.

Havia cinco anos que os pescadores do Acordo de Pesca do Setor São José não realizavam o manejo no Lago Branco, Reserva Amanã, onde Sérgio e Teresa estavam para observar o processo, por isso o tamanho avantajado dos peixes. O abate obedece a regras rígidas: não pode ocorrer entre 1 de dezembro e 31 de maio, período de reprodução da espécie, e deixa de fora os animais mais jovens, com menos de 1,5 metro de comprimento.

O Instituto Mamirauá assessora as comunidades de diversas formas, entre elas está a idealização de infraestrutura que permita a adequação do processamento dos peixes à legislação, do ponto de vista da vigilância sanitária, e que se adapte às particularidades locais. A região do Médio Solimões, onde está localizada a reserva, sofre grandes transformações durante o ano. O nível da água dos rios chega a variar 11 metros entre o período de chuvas mais intensas e a época mais seca, alagando boa parte da região, o que demanda um planejamento logístico bem específico, como a utilização de estruturas flutuantes, que subam junto à água.

O trabalho do instituto passa também pela capacitação dos pescadores para a realização das contagens, tratamento e estoque do pescado e gestão das diversas associações de pescadores locais. A legislação vigente permite a pesca do pirarucu apenas através do processo de manejo, regulado pelos acordos de pesca, que determinam as condições para a atividade.

“Ver no local o que é essa produção, de que forma ela acontece, toda a força bruta necessária e, ao mesmo tempo, toda a sofisticação da parte técnica e científica do instituto, isso para mim mostra a seriedade e maturidade do projeto”, afirma Teresa. “[O manejo] é fundamental para que possamos manter a Amazônia de um jeito que seja bom para todo o mundo”.

O projeto

Inicialmente, a ideia é, ainda em 2018 e no começo do ano que vem, levar o pirarucu manejado a chefs de renome do Rio de Janeiro e começar a sensibilizar a classe em relação ao produto. “Para que eles experimentem, inventem receitas e façam uma análise. Com base nessas análises, teremos uma ideia de como o peixe pode ser utilizado e qual é o seu grau de aceitação”, conta Sérgio Abdon. Em seguida, o SindRio pretende promover palestras sobre o manejo e oficinas que ensinem o preparo do peixe.

Em agosto, o pirarucu manejado será lançado no Rio Gastronomia, o maior evento de gastronomia do país, que anualmente reúne cerca de 50.000 pessoas. “A intenção é promover a experimentação do pirarucu pelo público final. Nós teremos, dentro do evento, um quiosque vendendo só pratos de pirarucu e uma barraca na feira de produtores”, revela o representante do SindRio.

Outra iniciativa será o Festival do Pirarucu, planejado para acontecer no Centro de Abastecimento do Estado da Guanabara, o CADEG, mercado municipal do Rio de Janeiro. O projeto é de realizá-lo entre os meses de setembro e outubro. “Um evento mais voltado para o público da Zona Norte, que frequenta o mercado. Tentaremos o máximo possível fazer um lançamento que seja abrangente”.

Idelmar Ferreira da Cruz, presidente do Setor São José e coordenador do acordo de pesca do setor, enxerga com bons olhos a possibilidade de expandir a venda do pirarucu para outros mercados. Hoje, os manejadores ainda sofrem muito com os baixos preços praticados pelos atravessadores, que transportam o peixe das reservas para as cidades. “É uma porta que se abre na negociação do pirarucu. Queremos divulgar o nosso peixe para outros compradores, outros estados, sair um pouco dos atravessadores”, relata.

Texto: Bernardo Oliveira
Fonte: Instituto Mamirauá

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