Author(s): A Begossi
Most commercially important reef fish are late maturing species and have slow growth, being thus vulnerable to overfishing. In Brazil, coastal artisanal fishers usually depend upon reef fishes, such as groupers (Serranidae) and snappers (Lutjanidae), because these fish attain higher market values compared to other fishing resources. Most of these local and small-scale coastal fishers are located in high biodiversity areas, such as the Atlantic forest coastal remnants. Therefore, the management of artisanal reef fisheries faces a dilemma regarding the economic and ecological contexts: to conserve fish stocks (avoid their depletion) or to catch fish to fulfill immediate economic needs. Drawing from examples of different fisheries from northeastern to southern Brazilian coastal sites, we described this dilemma and provided management suggestions, aiming to allow the development of sustainable artisanal fisheries.