The deep-water fishery in Brazil is currently in expansion due to depletion of most neritic economic species. This increasing deep-water effort brings concern on the bycatch impact, its specific composition, the need for capture’s evaluation and development of bycatch reduction devices. The impact is particularly aggressive on deep-water elasmobranchs, which have an extreme ecological k-strategy due to their reproductive constraints (lower fecundity and late first maturity age). Scientific deep-water surveys and intensive research programs (REVIZEE) along the past decade indicate that Brazilian elasmobranch diversity is higher than previously imagined. However, the deep-water fishery threatens this poorly known community of sharks and rays on the Brazilian continental slope as they become bycatch of a fast-growing and uncontrolled fishery. The recent study case of the monkfish (Lophius gastrophysus) fishery dynamics, well presented and discussed by the Brazilian scientific community, provided evidence of the need of bycatch-specific monitoring programs and fast-response fishery regulations. The present work discusses the Brazilian deep-water elasmobranch bycatch problem under the light of its biological diversity and completely unknown population status. Suggestions and management considerations are presented in order to coordinate and manage the establishment and growth of this deep-water fishery in Brazil.
Part of the book: Chondrichthyes