Title: Small-scale fisheries in Brazil: a not-so-invisible problem
Speaker: Priscila Lopes, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal (Brazil)
Date: 16/06/2017, 12:00h
Location: Sala de Seminarios (Edificio Torretamarit), Universidad Miguel Hernández (Campus de Elche)
Brazil is proportionally a relatively unimportant player in the world fisheries scenario. However, small-scale fisheries (SSF) specifically are crucial for local livelihoods and the food security of millions of people, both on the coast and inland. Such fisheries provide more than 50% of the total Brazilian catches, suggesting that they can be highly impacting on the local ecosystems, especially on vulnerable ones, such as coastal reefs. Despite having some preferential target species, SSF is highly diverse and adaptive, depending on the environment, but also on the socioeconomic context. For being mostly coastal and exploiting shallow waters, many of the stocks targeted cannot undergo intensive fishing pressure, which have put many key species in a vulnerable situation, with some of them being locally extinct already. Topping up the problem, Brazil does not have a fishery statistical program since 2011, and has been cutting research funding continuously since 2014. To partially overcome the limitations, we have been developing alternative, affordable and reliable tools to collect and reconstruct fishing data, usually with the support of fishers. As there is official interest in managing such fisheries either, we have to stimulate and count on participatory initiatives to implement management as well and to understand, counterbalance or adjust, when necessary, the general impacts of development projects and of protected areas.