Implications of consumption and ecological knowledge on the management of marine turtles on the Northern coast of São Paulo, Brazil

Ludmila de Melo Alves Damasio, Adriana Rosa Carvalho

Resumo


Traditional fishing communities usually have an ecological understanding of the resources they exploit, even if they are not the main target of fishing. Given that cultural and individual features of the sources of information could influence the consumption of the catch and the related understanding, it is expected that the older fishermen have a greater ecological understanding and a more ingrained eating behavior. The goal of this study was to gather information in five fishing communities in Ubatuba (SP) where marine turtles are commonly caught in gill nets, in order to answer the following questions: i) is there a difference in turtle eating among communities? ii) is turtle consumption influenced by socioeconomic characteristics; and iii) does the ecological perception depend on the socioeconomic characteristics of the interviewees / sources of information? It was found that turtle consumption was different and inversely related to reports of turtle entanglement presented to Tamar - the Marine Turtle Conservation Project (Pearson r=-0.9; p<0.05) and seems to be determined by the distance from the coast where entanglement occurs, by turtle mortality and the duration of entanglement (and not by socioeconomic features). Age, level of education and length of fishing experience influenced ecological knowledge of marine turtles. This result is contrary to the premise that older and more experienced fishermen should have greater ecological wisdom. This knowledge, greater for younger and more educated fishermen, was principally concerned with turtle feeding, since Ubatuba is mainly a feeding ground for marine turtles and is not an area of reproduction.

Key words: Marine turtles. By-catch. Ecological knowledge. Incidental catch.

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Revista Bioikos

ISSNe 2318-0900 (eletrônico)
ISSN 0102-9568 (impresso)

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