Deep-water fisheries in Brazil: history, status and perspectives

José Angel Alvarez Perez, Paulo Ricardo Pezzuto, Robeto Wahrlich, Ana Luisa de Souza Soares



The recent development of deep-water fisheries off Brazil is reviewed from biological, economic, and political perspectives. This process has been centered in the southeastern and southern sectors of the Brazilian coast (19°-34°S) and was motivated by the overfishing of the main coastal resources and a government-induced vessel-chartering program. Shelf break (100-250 m) operations by national hook-and-line and trawl vessels intensified in the 1990s. Around 2000-2001, however, foreign-chartered longliners, gillnetters, potters, and trawlers started to operate in Brazilian waters, leading the occupation of the upper slope (250- 500 m), mostly targeting monkfish (Lophyus gastrophysus), the Argentine hake (Merluccius hubbsi), the Brazilian codling (Urophycis mystacea), the wreckfish (Polyprion americanus), the Argentine short-fin squid (Illex argentinus), the red crab (Chaceon notialis), and the royal crab (Chaceon ramosae). Between 2004 and 2007, chartered trawlers established a valuable fishery on deep-water shrimps (family Aristeidae), heavily exploiting the lower slope (500-1000 m). Total catches of deep-water resources varied annually from 5,756 ton in 2000 to a maximum of 19,923 ton in 2002, decreasing to nearly 11,000 ton in 2006. Despite intensive data collection, the availability of timely stock assessments, and a formal participatory process for the discussion of management plans, deep-water stocks are already considered to be overexploited due to limitations of governance

Alvarez Perez J, Pezzuto P, Wahrlich R, de Souza Soares A. Deep-water fisheries in Brazil: history, status and perspectives. Lat. Am. J. Aquat. Res.. 2017;37(3): 513-541. Available from: doi:10.3856/vol37-issue3-fulltext-18 [Accessed 23 Jul. 2024].
Alvarez Perez, J., Pezzuto, P., Wahrlich, R., & de Souza Soares, A. (2017). Deep-water fisheries in Brazil: history, status and perspectives. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research, 37(3), 513-541. doi: