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Social-ecological change effects on artisanal fisheries and sea turtle by cath in São Francisco (São Sebastião, São Paulo)

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Natália Cristina Fidelis Bahia
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: Campinas, SP.
Institution: Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Biologia
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Cristiana Simão Seixas; Eleonore Zulnara Freire Setz; José Milton Andriguetto Filho
Advisor: Cristiana Simão Seixas

The aim of this study was to investigate how socio-ecological changes affect artisanal fishing and sea turtle bycatch in the São Francisco neighborhood (São Sebastião, São Paulo) and how the fishermen are responding to such changes during the last 60 years. For that, adaptive capacity of complex systems and local ecological knowledge were adopted as theoretical frameworks for data analysis. Data collection consisted of semi-structured interviews with artisanal fishers (those using dugout canoes and batera), participatory mapping, fish landings surveys, direct observation and secondary data analysis. Fishermen observed several changes that influenced local fisheries during the analyzed period, mainly the migration of shrimp bottom trawling fishermen, the introduction of more efficient fishing gears, the increase of fishing efforts of medium-sized vessels, the emergence of new jobs due to urban and industrial growth and tourism development. As a result, fishing gear and fishing areas were modified, the amount of fish catch was reduced and the occurrence of sea turtle bycatch increased. The sampled fish landings were divided in two sets for analysis: fisheries from São Sebastião, particularly the northern coast (Area 1) and from the coast of Ilhabela, Búzios Island and Vitória Island (Area 2). Currently, there is a predominant use of encircling nets (bitana) by dugout canoe and batera fishermen from Area 1, while floating fixed trap nets and bottom gill nets were the most used fishing gears in Area 2. Total production registered between October/2009 and September/2010 was higher in Area 2, as well as the richness of captured species. In Area 1, only four groups of fish (whitemouth croacker - Micropogonias furnieri; white mullet - Mugil curema; mullet - Mugil liza and rays - Rajomorphii) were responsible for most of the recorded catches (71% of total). Mojarra (Diapterus spp.) and Western Atlantic seabream (Archosargus rhomboidalis) represent about 11% out of the 29% remaining production, wich are small sized and low commercial value fish. Fishermen have been perceiving some climate changes, specially an increase in weather instability. The adaptive strategies adopted by artisanal fishermen to deal with socio-ecological changes included searching for new jobs (unrelated to fisheries), shifting to shrimp bottom trawling fishery and using multispecific fishing gear (for example, encircling bitana nets). The motorized vessels allowed the fishermen to face more safely the weather instability when compared to non-motorized canoes, and it also enabled them to reach more distant fishing areas. Despite the demonstrated adapting ability until the present moment, the abandonment of artisanal fishing by many fishing families, associated with urbanization and mass media access, can contribute to loss of local ecological knowledge and its transmission. This loss may compromise fishermen perception and the adopted strategies to address socio-ecological future changes, consequently affecting the adaptive capacity of São Francisco neighborhood fishing community (AU)

FAPESP's process: 08/08755-2 - Environmental change effects on artisanal fisheries and incidental catch of marine turtles on a Sao Paulo state coastal community
Grantee:Natália Cristina Fidelis Bahia
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Master