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Right to the sea: coastal economy of the metropolitan region of Grande São Luís


We propose to research and deepen the knowledge about the coastal economy, a space of contact between land and sea, dominated by two economic circuits, one superior (from large companies) and another inferior, from small companies. In particular, we will focus on the small business circuit, which will serve as the basis for proposing a territorial policy, namely: valuing the short economic circuits of local economic activities. To this end, we propose political interventions in favor of historically homeless economic sectors, to make employment and income feasible in coastal zone communities: on Maranhão Island (MA), in São Luís, São José de Ribamar, Paço do Lumiar and Raposa. Each of these locations constitutes a geographical situation, within which a coastal economy is specified, which in turn can promote or inhibit the lower circuit of the economy. In the geographical situations in question, we currently find constraints for the continuity of coastal economies - endogenous, based on the sea -, means of work and existence. We refer to artisanal fishing activities (for self-support and marketing), provision of services (such as tourist guides), trade in bars and restaurants, small inns and hotels and handicrafts that live from the seasons for the summer and tourism and natural dynamics of the sea; most of them are pluriactivities; a small part of the workers and artisanal fishermen remain with only one activity. In other words, it forms a local economic network or circuit strongly entangled by exchanges and complementarities from the so-called artisanal fisheries, the center of our analysis. Although not determined, the circuit we intend to study is conditioned more by the natural environment than by the built environment; it has (i) its own morphology of the spaces of contact between the sea and the land, its (ii) logic is peculiar when articulating elements of the sea and the land and, as a consequence, (iii) its temporality obeys more the principles of operation the nature of the rational time of the hours, that is, the work regime bears the mark of natural time, and (iv) work, to a large extent, is marked by pluriactivity, which is why we will henceforth call it the hybrid lower circuit. The apprehension of this hybridity is not captured by partial or sectorial studies, it requires a methodology capable of elucidating local homologies and complementarities, capable of revealing how the city is used, not as a stage, but as an active framework of the life of relationships. The studied geographical situations comprise places involved by a dynamic strongly related to the sea: either due to the port complex and the purchase and sale of fish in São Luís (adding fishermen from different regions of the state), or the fishing activities present in the communities that we propose to study: from Maranhão Island, Cajueiro, Camboa dos Frades and the villages of the Cachorros Basin (São Luís); Boa Viagem (São José de Ribamar); Pau Deitado (Paço do Lumiar), as well as the municipality of Raposa. Such fishing communities - although they exercise an important economic activity, especially guaranteeing the sale of food in the urban markets of São Luís - are in a situation of extreme vulnerability due to social inequalities and the delicate environmental issue on screen: they live in areas with fauna and compromised flora. Studies like the one we are proposing, have the merit of raising reliable data to make them public for decision-making and for our goal: to shorten local economic circuits, bringing producers and consumers closer by adopting social technology, each time more widespread in Brazil and in the world, which is the production of an application (on smartphone) for the viability of jobs and income in coastal zone communities. (AU)

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