Why Brazil?

98%
of Brazil’s fishers are registered as independent or small-scale operators1
60%
or more of total fish landings are from artisanal fisheries2
50%
increase in per capita fish consumption between 2005 and 20103
50%
of Brazilians live in coastal areas4
80%
of fisheries are at unsustainable levels5
 

Protecting Brazilian reefs and mangroves is a critical step toward improving the health and biodiversity of the world’s oceans.6 Brazil is home to the third-largest mangrove area in the world,7 which directly supports 50 percent of its local fisheries production.8 This essential coastal vegetation, bolstered by nearly 50,000 acres of sea grasses, provides habitat for more than 750 species of plants, arthropods, mollusks, crustaceans, fish and birds, and helps to mitigate the impacts of climate change.9

However rich, Brazil’s fisheries are on the brink of collapse, due to the destruction of mangroves and coastal ecosystems, and systematic overfishing. Continued mismanagement of Brazil’s fisheries will imperil the food security and biodiversity benefits these vital systems have provided for generations.

Fish Forever will work with local communities and government agencies to arrest this trend, strengthen community-based fishery management systems and establish fish recovery zones to protect important fishery habitats.

The Opportunity:

  • By 2020, the Brazilian government has committed to increasing the amount of marine protected areas along its coastline from 1.5 percent to 10 percent.
  • Existing fisheries management systems rely heavily on community engagement and buy-in – an area in which Rare specializes.
  • The Brazilian government is particularly receptive to new ideas for engaging fishing communities.
  • Rare is developing strong partnerships with government entities, universities and local organizations that have worked with local fishing communities.

“The Ministry of the Environment looks forward to working with the Fish Forever partners to ensure that Brazil’s fishing communities play a direct role in shaping a stronger, more sustainable and more profitable future for themselves.”
-Roberto Cavalcanti, Secretary for Biodiversity and Forests at the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment

In Brazil, the Fish Forever partners are working to achieve the following results in the first five years of the program:

  • Strengthen exclusive access areas (known locally as RESEXs), covering nearly 700,000 hectares, and establish fish recovery zones within these areas.
  • Increase household living standards for approximately 7,500 families by helping them gain access to new business opportunities.
  • Increase fish biomass and abundance at project sites and improve catch management of commercial species that are crucial for the country, such as skid, shrimp and lobster.
  • Contribute to Brazil’s commitment to the Convention on Biological Diversity to establish protected areas in 10 percent of its waters.

 

Show 9 footnotes

  1. M. Vasconcellos et al., “Relatório Integrado PNUD: Diagnóstico da pesca artesanal no Brasil como subsídio para o fortalecimento institucional da SEAP/PR,” (versão preliminar), Rare Brazil feasibility study, Brasília, 2005, 18.
  2. FAO, “Fishery and Aquaculture Country Profile: The Federative Republic of Brazil,” accessed 2013.
  3. FAO, “Fishery and Aquaculture Country Profile: The Federative Republic of Brazil,” prepared 2013.
  4. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Global Environment Facility (GEF), and Ministry of Environment (MMA) of the Federative Republic of Brazil, “Effective Conservation and Sustainable Use of Mangrove Ecosystems in Brazil (PIMS 3280),” Atlas Project No.00055992, 2008.
  5. A. P. Prates and D. Blanc, “Aquatic Protected Areas as Fisheries Management Tools” (in Portuguese), Protected Areas of Brazil Series 4, Ministry of the Environment, Secretariat for Biodiversity and Forests, Marine and Coastal Zone Division, Brasília, Brazil, 2007.
  6. Rodríguez-Ramírez et al., “Status of Coral Reef and Associated Ecosystems in Southern Tropical America: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Venezuela,” in Status of Coral Reefs of the World, ed. C. Wilkinson (Townsville, Australia: Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and Reef and Rainforest Research Center, 2008), 281-294.
  7. FAO, “The World’s Mangroves 1980-2005,” FAO Forestry Paper 153, Forest Resources Division, Rome, 2007, 12.
  8. UNDP, GEF, and MMA of the Federative Republic of Brazil, “Effective Conservation and Sustainable Use of Mangrove Ecosystems in Brazil (PIMS 3280),” Atlas Project No.00055992, 2008.
  9. Ibid.