Supervisor: Priscila Fabiana Macedo Lopes
Research Topic: Arapaima fisheries co-management: an alternative to conciliate biodiversity conservation with human well-being in the Amazon region?
Arapaima (Arapaima spp.) is the largest freshwater scale fish in the world and an iconic element of the Amazon region. This fish has high ecological, economic and cultural value to Amazonian ecosystems and people. Since the 2000s, arapaima fishery has been banned in Brazil except under a collaborative management plan approved by the government. Arapaima co-management initiatives are proliferating throughout the Amazon and seem to be an important tool for biodiversity conservation, poverty alleviation, and gender equality in fisheries. On the other hand illegal arapaima fisheries are still quite common, and we know very little about arapaima stocks and conservation status. In my Ph.D. I intend to evaluate the historical trends of arapaima stocks in the Brazilian Amazon, and to assess the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of arapaima co-management. Data collection will be based on interviews with local people from three important tributaries of the Amazon river (Juruá river, Purus river and Negro river), and on records from the Brazilian Environmental Agency (~15 years data).