Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Fishers’ and scientific histories: an example of consensus from an inland fishery

Juliana Strieder Philippsen A F , Carolina Viviana Minte-Vera B A , Edson Kiyoshi Okada C , Adriana Rosa Carvalho D and Ronaldo Angelini E

A Pós-Graduação em Ecologia de Ambientes Aquáticos Continentais, Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Avenida Colombo 5790, Maringá, PR, CEP 87020-900, Brazil.

B Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, 8901 La Jolla Shores Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037-1509, USA.

C Núcleo de Pesquisas em Limnologia, Ictiologia e Aquicultura (Nupélia), Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Avenida Colombo 5790, Maringá, PR, CEP 87020-900, Brazil.

D Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Campus Universitário, Natal, RN, CEP 59072-970, Brazil.

E Departamento de Engenharia Civil, Centro de Tecnologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Campus Universitário, Natal, RN, CEP 59072-970, Brazil.

F Corresponding author. Email: striederjp@gmail.com

Marine and Freshwater Research - http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF16053
Submitted: 23 February 2016  Accepted: 9 June 2016   Published online: 3 August 2016

Abstract

In this study we tested the basic premise that fishers’ knowledge provides similar perceptions about exploited stocks to data gathered by standardised monitoring in a small-scale commercial fishery. To that end, we compared temporal trends in catch and individual size for fish species between data obtained from interviews with fishers and a 25-year dataset from a landing monitoring program in the Itaipu Reservoir (Brazil). Fishers described with accuracy changes in species composition of the catches, from large migratory species of high commercial value (common before impoundment) to migratory species of low commercial value and sedentary species following damming. Temporal trends in catches reported by fishers and documented in the landing data matched for most species. Histories diverge when absolute values are involved, such as when fishers were asked to recall their largest catch. Fishers were homogeneous in their reports, indicating that instead of individual opinions, they revealed knowledge resulting from their observation and fishery experience. Fishers can be a reliable source of information for detecting changes in catches over time, especially when large-scale habitat changes have occurred within the time scale of a fisher career. Fishers may be key partners to be considered by managers in information gathering for effective management.

Additional keywords: Bayesian analysis, data-limited fisheries, interview, local knowledge, reservoir, river.


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