Asian Bioethics Review

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 261–278 | Cite as

The Problems of Under-Inclusion in Marine Biodiversity Conservation: the Case of Brazilian Traditional Fishing Communities

  • Fernanda Castelo Branco Araujo
  • Edvaldo de Aguiar Portela Moita
Original Paper


Nowadays, on national and international levels, the law has been increasingly considering local and traditional communities’ role for achieving conservation. In Brazil, for instance, one can see how recent legal rules promote benefits for those local groups who practice low environmental impact activities. Nevertheless, regarding traditional fishing communities that live on the coastal zone, a region where many protected areas have been created lately in Brazil, the positive social effects of those measures are often undermined by the economic and political pressure they suffer. This becomes particularly clear when the problem is seen under the different grades of citizenship people face in Brazil: that is, considering how people can be over-included in the legal system to have mainly access to its benefits, while others are under-included to be mainly dependent on it. It seems that Brazilian coastal fishing communities fall into the latter case, and that would explain how they are subject to many different types of restrictions and responsibilities due to the new legal instruments that are being developed to protect such areas, sometimes causing, for instance, a pressure to remove them from their homes. Conservation in this context, then, is to be understood beyond legal texts and, especially, under the evaluation of the social conditions these populations are submitted to. Therefore, this paper sketches the legal development of Brazilian marine protected areas, points out some examples of conflicts involving traditional fishing communities affected by conservation policies, and conceptualizes the relations of over- and under-inclusion they can be considered as part of.


Marine conservation Traditional fishing communities Under-inclusion Brazil 



We would like to thank the comments and feedback we received to improve this article. More especially, we thank the reviewers of the Asian Bioethics Review and the participants of the Research Class coordinated by Prof. Alfons Bora at the Bielefeld University. We also had the opportunity to present a draft version of this paper at the Law and Society 2018 in Toronto, where we discussed and obtained important observations from the attendants, including the careful comments of Luiz Ramos.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© National University of Singapore and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aix-Marseille Université, Espace CassinAix-en-ProvenceFrance
  2. 2.Universidade de Brasília, Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro, Faculdade de DireitoBrasília-DFBrazil
  3. 3.Universität BielefeldBielefeldGermany

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