Fishery and the use of space in a tropical semi-arid estuarine region of Northeast Brazil: subsistence and overexploitation

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Fishery activities were described in a tropical estuary of the Northeast Coast of Brazil. Semi-structured questionnaires were applied to fishers (N=263) at three villages of the Goiana Estuary. The average individual income was US$ 329 (SE ± 14.83), and at least 17 (7%) interviewees have an income <U$109 / month, considered a chronic poverty state. Gillnet with small mesh size (<60 mm) was the most cited gear, although others as trap barriers (seasonally), longline, lobster trap, spear diving, hook and line are also used. Lobster is the most profitable catch, and 68 (53%) fishers are dedicated to its capture, especially during rainy season. Seasonal closure for recovering of lobsters populations is enforced by law during the late dry and early rainy seasons. However, interviewees frequently admitted to fish for lobster off-season, according to market demands and household needs. Dependent dive for lobster capture is also illegal, yet common. Fishers pointed overexploitation of fish stocks as the main problem in the region, especially for lobster. These preliminary results emphasize the urgent need of further efforts to collect information about fishery gears, production, catchability and mortality of target and non-target species while providing food and income for coastal communities. State and community co-governance of the artisanal fishery is a possible way to reduce the pressure on heavily exploited species whilst ensuring the sustainable use of marine resources along the Northeast Brazilian coast.

ADDITIONAL INDEX WORDS: gillnet, lobster capture, Goiana Estuary

Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)398-402
JournalJournal Of Coastal Research
Issue number64
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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