Fishing Communities Lead the Way in Brazil’s Abrolhos Bank

Young men fishing in the mangroves outside Caravelas.

The Abrolhos Bank, located off the coast of northeastern Brazil, is an enormous, shallow shelf home to the biologically richest coral reefs in the South Atlantic.

Many species that live there are found nowhere else in the world.

 Fish on reef coral in Abrolhos
The local villages are home to thousands of families who rely on the coast’s bounty by fishing, crabbing, and oyster catching for their livelihoods. They understand that their future depends on a healthy ocean, and are opposed to large-scale unsustainable fishing and shrimp farming.

The members of these communities have been key partners in my team’s work protecting this amazing place.

Since working with fishing associations to create the Corumbau Extractive Reserve in 2000, CI has seen fishermen as key partners in protecting the ecosystem.

Octocoral. © Gerry Allen
It is through working with local fishing associations that we hope to create and expand networks of Marine Protected Areas and develop new extractive reserves.

Our work in Abrolhos is just one example of how Conservation International is working with local communities and their governments around the world to help protect local livelihoods and natural resources from unsustainable development.

Get an up-close look at Abrolhos in our Photo Slideshow.

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