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Marine Protected Areas and Artisanal Fisheries in Brazil
  • :Antonio Carlos Diegues
  • :2008
  • :54
  • :978 81 906765 1 9

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are being promoted around the world as an effective means of protecting marine and coastal resources and biodiversity. However, concerns have been raised about their impact on the livelihoods, culture and survival of small-scale and traditional fishing and coastal communities.


Yet, as this study from Brazil shows, it is possible to use MPAs as a tool for livelihood-sensitive conservation. Based on detailed studies of three sites–the Peixe Lagoon National Park in Rio Grande do Sul, and the marine extractive reserves (MERs) of Mandira, São Paulo, and Corumbau, Bahia–the study shows how communities in Brazil have been able to use protected areas to safeguard their livelihoods against development and industrialization projects, like shrimp farms and tourist resorts. The study also highlights the many challenges facing communities in the process of setting up sustainable-use MERs. These are related to, among other things, the need for capacity building of government functionaries and communities; funding; strong community/fishworker organizations; an interdisciplinary approach; and integration of scientific and traditional knowledge.


This study will be useful for researchers, analysts, non-governmental organizations and anyone else interested in fisheries, biodiversity, conservation, communities and livelihoods.