Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine

, 8:22

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

The paraty artisanal fishery (southeastern Brazilian coast): ethnoecology and management of a social-ecological system (SES)

  • Alpina BegossiAffiliated withUNICAMP: CAPESCA, LEPAC (Paraty) and CMUFIFO (Fisheries and Food Institute), ECOMAR/UNISANTA Email author 
  • , Svetlana SalyvonchykAffiliated withInstitute for Nature Management, National Academy of Sciences of Belarus
  • , Vinicius NoraAffiliated withECOMAR/UNISANTAFIFO (Fisheries and Food Institute), ECOMAR/UNISANTA
  • , Priscila F LopesAffiliated withFIFO (Fisheries and Food Institute), ECOMAR/UNISANTADept. Botany, Zoology and Ecology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte
  • , Renato AM SilvanoAffiliated withFIFO (Fisheries and Food Institute), ECOMAR/UNISANTADepartamento de Ecologia, UFRGS, Porto Alegre, RS


This study intends to give recommendations to the management of Paraty fishery in Brazil through an interplay of local and scientific knowledge. In particular, the objectives are the following: 1) to describe the Paraty fishery; 2) to compare the fishermen’s local ecological knowledge with recorded fish landings and previous studies in Paraty; 3) to combine the data on local fishing and on local/Caiçara livelihoods with the SES (social-ecological systems) Model. The methods include a systematic survey of fishing in Tarituba and Praia Grande, which are located in the northern end and the central part of the Paraty municipality, respectively. For four days each month, systematic data on catches at landing points were collected, as well as macroscopic gonad analysis data for the fishes Centropomus parallelus and C. undecimalis (snook, robalo), Epinephelus marginatus (grouper, garoupa), Scomberomorus cavalla (King mackerel, cavala), and Lutjanus synagris (Lane snapper, vermelho). Spring and summer are important seasons during which some species reproduce, and the integration of fishing periods for some target species could assist in fishing management through the use of closed seasons. Fishermen could obtain complementary earnings from tourism and from the “defeso system” (closed season including a salary payment) to conserve fishing stocks. The SES model facilitates an understanding of the historical context of fishing, its economic importance for local livelihoods, the constraints from conservation measures that affect fishermen, and the management processes that already exist, such as the defeso. If used to integrate fishing with complementary activities (tourism), such a system could improve the responsibility of fishermen regarding the conservation of fish stocks.