Current Project

Sustainable Fish Farming in Suriname


2021 – present





Fins and Leaves has supported the Mulokot Foundation in Suriname for their project ‘Towards food sovereignty for the Wayana tribe in Suriname through sustainable fish farming’ with technical expertise.

The Wayana are an ingenious tribe from the northern Amazon region. The life of the Wayana is still deeply intertwined with nature and their main source of livelihood comes from small-scale farming, while for their daily animal protein intake they fish the many rivers that cross these forests.

However, illegal miners are actively mining for gold in the same rivers. These gold miners use large amounts of poisonous mercury. Since mercury is a heavy metal, it accumulates from the river sediment, eventually reaching dangerously high levels in fish. Research shows that gold mining in this small South American country grew by 893 percent between 2000 and 2014 and that over 50 percent of investigated indigenous communities in Suriname are exceeding WHO safe thresholds in mercury levels in their blood samples, with children especially at risk of developing irreversible brain damage.

The Wayana in the remote community of Kawemhakan strongly believe that an alternative source of fish protein through sustainable small-scale fish farming is the key solution to this problem. One of their favorite fish is the Tambaqui, or Black bellied Pacu. This native fish is easy to farm and is already produced by a commercial hatchery in the capital. The project farms Tambaqui in a cooperative fashion with the community, and solely using sustainable protocols that will ensure environmental integrity and social responsibility to all community members.

Once the project proves to be a success in this community, it has enormous potential as a blueprint for sustainable development and livelihood provision across different indigenous communities in the amazon region.

Surinaamse gemeenschappen voeren een taaie strijd tegen kwik

November 2020 – Trouw


In Suriname komt per jaar meer dan 60.000 kilogram kwik in het milieu terecht. Het wordt gebruikt door de duizenden gouddelvers die in grote delen van het land actief zijn. Inheemse gemeenschappen worden aan het giftige metaal blootgesteld. Hun strijd is er een van de lange adem.

Eerste fase visproject Wayana’s succesvol

November 2020 – Dagblad Suriname


Het vissenkweekproject van de Wayana’s in het geed Kawemhakan is succesvol gestart. Van de 400 visjes die over zijn gebracht hebben allemaal het overleefd vertelt Jupta Itoewaki, de woordvoerder van de Wayana’s.

Van de overheid mogen we geen vis meer eten, maar wat dan wél

Mei 2021 – Mondiaal Nieuws


In het Amazonegebied leven de oorspronkelijke bewoners al sinds jaar en dag van de visvangst. Maar goudzoekers vervuilen de rivieren en vergiftigen de vissen. Van de overheid mogen de inheemse gemeenschappen in Suriname geen vis meer eten, maar een alternatief is er niet. Een eigen viskwekerij moet daar nu verandering in brengen.

Pictures copyright: Milton Kam. To read more about his fantastic work visit his website: