Associação dos Moradores da Prainha do Canto Verde, Beberibe, Ceará, Brasil FISHERIES MANAGEMENT AND COMPLEMENTARY LIVELIHOODS IN PRAINHA DO CANTO VERDE

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Associação dos Moradores da Prainha do Canto Verde, Beberibe, Ceará, Brasil


René Scharer

In 1993 artisanal jangada (sailrafts) fishers, who fish lobsters legally using wooden traps, demanded participation in the fishery's management. The community was mobilized by a 74-day trip of four fishers who sailed and two women that accompanied them by car from Prainha do Canto Verde to Rio de Janeiro. The crew travelled in a jangada with the name SOS SOBREVIVÊNCIA protesting against lobster poaching practices, real estate speculation and mass tourism impacts as well as the lack of government support for artisanal fishers. In 1995 another march of 500 fishermen and women to the state government led to the first fishery co-management committee in Brasil. The solution will be to create a Marine Protected Area, certify the lobster fishery and develop activities for complementary income.

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Biodiversity Impact

Describe how your solution creates sustainable fisheries and promotes ecosystem health.
In 2001 a pre-assessment for lobster certification by the Marine Stewardship Council was conducted in Prainha do Canto Verde with financial support by the WWF. This effort helped to show fishers that they had much to learn about their fishery and that Government needed to improve management and enforcement. In 2004 President Lula creates the 2nd national lobster fishery management committee (CGSL). Fishers and NGOs start to influence in the management of their fishery. Fishers proposed a prohibition to the use of gillnets due to its impacts upon non-target organisms and endangered sea turtles. The protection of reproduction is a primary objective to prevent lobster stocks to collapse under the excessive illegal fishing effort, and fishers proposed extending closed season from 4 to 6 months despite the opposition of fishing industry. The illegal fishing is being practiced by divers who use rudimentary hookah diving equipment powered by a compressor on boards which puts in danger the lives of the divers and creates conflicts with the artisanal fisher fleet of the whole state of Ceará. Prainha do Canto Verde has developed its own fisheries and economic data collection, which will be required for the co-management of the extractive reserve (RESEX) and for decision-making in the marine protected area (MPA). In 2006 over 200 fishers participate in the II International Workshop for Responsible Fisheries and presented their proposal of a mosaic of MPAs along the east coast of Ceará. The collaboration between fishers, researchers and managers will make it possible to reconcile

Describe how your solution protects biodiversity against local threats.
It is publicly recognized that artisanal fishers in Prainha do Canto Verde and other communities on the east coast of Ceará are ready for co-management and responsible fishing. Fishing companies will be obligated to responsible operations once the certification process begins and the Brazilian Government enforces the illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU)– which is a prerequisite for certification. The certification process will also require a ban on the capture of egg-bearing females which are captured in large numbers by the motorized fleet and subsequently exported despite a ban by the United States. These fishers will have to learn that in order to catch lobsters tomorrow, you have to protect the eggs today. Once fishers assume their responsibility towards the lobster resource and with control of poachers the stewardship will improve and lead to increased participation and better management of other resources in the Resex and in what is proposed to be a larger MPA of the east coast. Protection of biodiversity is not limited to the sea, with the RESEX the population is assuming responsibility to protect also dunes, mangroves, lakes and rivers in the region, which are an important part of the coastal ecosystem. Monitoring by the population with support from ICMBio, the government agency responsible for the reserve will be a powerful instrument against environmental crimes. ADDITIONAL VIDEO:

How large is the surface area where your solution is being applied?
The RESEX of Prainha do Canto Verde with 1.050 inhabitants has a surface area of 610 hectares of land and 29.000 hectares of sea. The RESEX was decreed in 2009 at the end of a 30-year struggle between the community and real estate speculators, which ended with a favorable decision by the Federal Superior Court of Justice in 2006. The intention was to obtain concession for the use of land and sea from the Federal Government to the local community association according to the law which regulates extractive reserves. Despite the challenge from the real estate market the association's members have started to manage the territory over 20 years ago and has developed a diversified social, environmental and economic project. Land tenure is important for housing, development of subsistence agro-ecology agriculture, collection and planting of medicinal plants and coconut trees, while developing community tourism for local economic development. Thus the conservation of the land and natural beauty and scenery is very important for the community. A larger encompassing MPA proposed on the east coast will have an extension of over 100 km of coastline counting including a mosaic of 11 smaller protected areas and has been registered at the Federal Government Agency under the process number ICMBio 02007.001132/2009-05.

Human Wellbeing and Livelihoods Impact

How does your solution improve human wellbeing or improve livelihoods and how many people are being impacted by your solution?
Lobster catches fell from a high of 8.000 kg of tails in 1996 to 500 kgs in 2010, recovering slightly in 2011 to 2.000 kg. Fish catches are estimated at between 20.000 and 30.000 kgs a year and have kept steady despite some oscillations from one year to another. Since lobster is the capital harvest, families had to use creativity and innovation to replace lost revenue from the fishery. The community tourism project of Prainha do Canto Verde, the first of its kind on the coast of Brazil, has become a model for other communities, in protected areas in other regions of the country. Income from tourism is complementary to fisheries. The community tourism council – members of the community who offer tourist services – estimates the annual revenue from tourism for the village economy at US$ 150.000.00, hosting over 1.200 tourists a year with an average stay of 3 days. The fishers call their village proudly “PARADISE” and visitors seem to agree. 2011 should bring an increase of over 10%, but there is no rush to increase lodging capacity, entrepreneurs prefer to grow slowly, has something to do with carrying capacity. Another source of income especially for youth comes from handicraft production, which is sold he in the community fair trade store. Other important sources of income are subsistence farming, public jobs, poverty relief programs and retirement pensions. Increase in catches due to better enforcement thanks to the Resex improved prices due to lobster certification and direct marketing and growing income from complementary economic activities will give a big boost to t


How many years has your solution been applied?
13 years

Have others reproduced your solution elsewhere?

Sustainability & Resilience

How do you manage your solution?
Brazilian folk hero Chico Mendes was cowardly assassinated by landowners in the state of Acre 20 years ago. But the Rubber Tappers Union created by Chico continued his legacy and was responsible for the approval of the RESEX law which creates and regulates extractive reserves. After the signature of the decree by the President of the Republic creating the RESEX of Prainha do Canto Verde the first step was to create the deliberative council (DC), which acts as the legislative body of the reserve and which by law must have a majority of votes by the community. The DC of Prainha's RESEX was published in the official diary in December of 2010 and is meeting regularly with 10 groups from the community – women, fishers, tourism, youth, farmers, artisans and so on; on the other side are 8 external groups from local government, state government, Fisher Colony, NGOs and University and so on. The DC meets regularly every two-month or more often when necessary. Some of the community groups already existed before the reserve and function under the umbrella of the Resident Association. Thus the governance of the resex is guaranteed and is supported by the Federal Government through ICMBio. The National Institute for Landreform INCRA provides technical and financial assistance for development of agriculture in the community.


Describe the management and governance aspects of your solution as they relate to your local community.
It is important to note that the solution for the community involves more than fishing, a holistic approach to community development. The community has 3 years time to create and implement the fisheries management plan for the RESEX. Thanks to the work developed during the last 15 years there is a good basis for drafting the plan with the help of fisheries scientist and fisheries authorities. Several studies about the lobster fishery have been carried out since 2005 – fishing effort and the economic aspects of the lobster fishery. A young fellow is working full time on data collection in cooperation with Ibama (environmental authorities) and the local government in Beberibe (municipal government). Despite many difficulties, in 2010 it was possible to carry out two enforcement operations in the sea with fast boat of the Fisheries Ministry and agents of ICMBio, the result was the apprehension of one illegal diving boat with 90 kgs of lobster, diving equipment and a crew of 5, which were detained and released on bail. The community will contribute to the certification process hoping for the recovery of the lobster fishery and the conservation of fish stocks. The community tourism council (CTC ) with over 50 members is responsible for the development of tourism and handicraft. Since its creation in 1998 the CTC has presented positive financial results in all except one year, eventual surplus funds (profit) go the capital investment fund and 20% goes
Reference of Community of Redonda, Icapui: Mr. Raimundo Bonfim Braga, Community Leader and former Manager of Ibama, Ceará