Marine fishing occurs along the coast and oceanic islands within the Exclusive Economic Zone of Brazil and is practiced mainly in an industrial fashion in the southern and southeastern regions of the country as well as in an artisanal fashion in the northern and northeastern regions. Artisanal marine fishing is practiced by fishermen who use sailing rafts or mid-size motorboats in daily fishing activities or activities that surpass 20 days at sea. To face the ocean and extract sustenance and income, the majority of artisanal fishermen do not have advanced fishing technologies, but rather empirical knowledge passed from one generation to another, which has allowed fishermen to maintain their activities for hundreds of years. The shared knowledge with regard to fishing and gear as well as fishing territories and the discovery of new territories allows artisanal fishermen to maintain catches while resources have become scarce. However, different factors in urban areas have been contributing to changes in artisanal marine fishing, such as the facility to education and jobs in other sectors of the economy. The aim of the present study was to investigate the experiences of artisanal fishermen in traditional communities of northeastern Brazil in the occurrence of urbanization. Traditionally in artisanal fishing, the transmission of knowledge occurs in the family, generally from father to son. However, this traditional transmission of knowledge is being lost in urban fishing communities. The urban environment facilitates access to formal education and provides opportunities for both formal and informal jobs, leading to income in more attractive sectors to the sons of fishermen than the activity of fishing. This is caused by changes in schooling and has triggered the avoidance of youths with regard to fishing activities. Moreover, urban pressures, such as the loss of areas of embarkation and landing, further hinder the maintenance of fishing in such areas. Thus, issues related to urbanization have been changing the structure of fishing communities and compromising the maintenance and sustainability of marine artisanal fishing activities in urban areas.
Part of the book: Sustainable Urbanization
Gathering bivalve molluscs is an important part of extractive fishing activities in the northeastern region of Brazil and is performed mainly by women. This study addresses the invisibility of the activity despite the labor effort and income generation these women represent. Depending on the community, these fisherwomen either practice all steps of the activity or only some processes, such as preparing and selling the product, but are always involved in some part of the productive process. Despite participating in the generation of income, the work of these mollusc gatherers is considered invisible, without prestige and given little or no value when compared to other fishing activities, especially those exercised by men. Mollusc gathering may seem to be a non-complex practice, but requires a variety of traditional knowledge that is passed from one generation to the next. Such knowledge reflects the intimate understanding these workers have of productive processes and the environmental dynamics of coastal artisanal fishing. In the majority of traditional communities, the difficulties lead to the discouragement of this activity as work for future generations. Thus, there is a need for the recognition of the spaces of female mollusc gatherers, considering the relations between the need for economic production and social reproduction with the egalitarian representation of these workers in the entities of social representation of the class of fishers.
Part of the book: Molluscs