Brazil Outlaws Nets for Catching Lobster

To put an end to predatory lobstering in Northeast Brazil, the government prohibited the use of gill nets (“caçoeiras”). This type of net catches lobsters of all sizes, as well as causing damage to the ocean floor. The fisherman will have until the end of April to replace their equipment.

When the lobster season begins on May 1, the only legal form of catching them will be using “manzuás” (wooden traps which lobsters enter but are unable to escape).


To help in the transition, the Special Secretariat of Aquiculture and Fishing will make credit lines available for the substitution of gill nets, thus making it possible to protect the crustacean fishing stock.


According to the undersecretary of Planning of Aquiculture and Fishing, Davi Lourenço, along the coast of Ceará alone, the loans, made with resources from the Bank of the Northeast, will benefit approximately 1,500 fishmen.


Lobstering employs around 100 thousand people throughout the Northeast. The crustacean is one of Brazil’s major fishing exports. Last year alone lobsters brought in revenues of US$ 20 million, 28% more than in 2003.


The breeding season for lobsters – when lobstering is prohibited throughout the country – runs from January 1 to April 30. During these months, registered fishermen receive unemployment insurance.


Translation: David Silberstein
Voz do Brasil

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