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Issue No.61
  • :0973-1156
  • :August
  • :2020

Yemaya Newsletter on Gender and Fisheries, Issue No. 61, August 2020

SOUTH AMERICA / BRAZIL

Fishing for crustaceans

This photo-essay depicts the practice of aratu fishing carried out by women in the mangroves of northeastern Brazil


By Beatriz Mesquita Pedrosa Ferreira (mesquitabia@hotmail.com), researcher, Joaquim Nabuco Foundation, Brazil, and ICSF member


Aratu (Goniopsis cruentata) are small, reddish crustaceans that live on the branches of mangroves. They are processed and sold, the sweetness of the meat making them a prized delicacy.

Aratu fishing is carried out mostly by women, for whom it is a source of income, allowing them to get by without formal employment, and offering a certain freedom in their lives.

Unlike the crab, the aratu is a fast breeder but both types of crustaceans have their own pros and cons. “If aratu bred like crab, there wouldn’t be much to pick since there are a lot of people fishing. We’re lucky that it reproduces fast. Crab is less labour intensive and fetches more money. Aratu has to be picked before it is sold; crab doesn’t need any such processing”

Aratu are fast moving crustaceans and require stillness and patience to capture. They move