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Issue No:78
  • :January
  • :2018

Samudra Report No.78, January 2018

Brazil / SSF

Endless Conflicts

The access of Brazil's fishers to coastal land and sea resources has, in recent years, been hampered by increased urbanization, tourism and construction of harbours

This interview with Antonio Carlos Diegues (, Anthropologist, University of São Paulo, Brazil, was conducted by the ICSF Team (

Q: In Brazil, do small-scale fishing communities have secure tenure rights—for their habitation, for shore-based activities, and for their fishing? Is there any conflict between different departments that regulate tenure arrangements?.

In Brazil, all coastal land extends from the high-tide line up to 30 m, and it belongs to the Union. When fishers’ land is situated in this area, fishers do not have any legal property right to the land, but usually they are not financially charged for the use of this land, particularly when such land is located outside urban areas.

In recent years, the Federal Government (through the Union Patrimony Service) has started a programme of officially granting this area for the use of artisanal fishers (for housing, as places to store fishing gear, etc.) for a longer period (20-30 years), which is renewable, as they belong to the social category of ‘traditional...

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