A team of Brazilian scientists is calling for immediate fisheries management collaboration between the nation’s public and private sectors. The scientists say Brazil can transform this moment of political turmoil into positive action, and become a leader among developing countries facing widespread extinction of aquatic animals.
The Galapagos shark in the picture is an example of a keystone species thought to have been fished to regional extinction due to decades of nonexistent fisheries regulations. This species is one of many that could have greatly benefited from management plans that help reduce by-catch and prevent the overexploitation of fishing stocks.
“In Brazil – a country with some of the most unique aquatic environments on Earth – fisheries data don’t really exist,” says Luiz Rocha, PhD, Associate Curator of Ichthyology at the California Academy of Sciences. “There are no bag or size limits for any species of fish, and for the past few years, even the most basic fisheries statistics – such as the numbers and weights of fish being caught – are a blank space. Maintaining current red lists is crucial to making sure management plans start as soon as possible.”
photo credit: California Academy of Sciences