In DepthConservation

Brazil roils waters with moves to protect aquatic life

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Science  10 Apr 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6231, pp. 169
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6231.169

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More than 400 aquatic species in Brazil could soon be off-limits for fishing. Last December, the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment published new “red lists” of threatened species, including many commercially valuable fish. A fishing moratorium for many or all of them takes effect 16 June, a prospect that has sparked political and scientific discord. The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture says the list will severely impact the national fishing economy. Some scientists and conservationists also worry that a blanket moratorium will backfire. They say that because of weak enforcement, the moratorium could increase the level of illegal fishing rather than take pressure off the endangered species. At the same time, the lack of data from fishing fleets could deprive scientists and policymakers of the ability to monitor what is happening in the ocean.

  • * in São Paulo, Brazil. Herton Escobar writes for O Estado de São Paulo.

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