Pre-Columbian fisheries catch reconstruction for a subtropical estuary in South America

Thiago Fossile, Jessica Ferreira, Dione da Rocha Bandeira, Levy Figuti, Sérgio Dias-da-Silva, Niklas Hausmann, Harry Kenneth Robson, David Clive Orton, Andre Carlo Colonese

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Small-scale fisheries provide food and livelihoods for thousands of people along the Brazilian coastline. However, considerable uncertainties still surround the extent to which artisanal and subsistence fisheries contribute to the total of national landings and their historical ecological significance. Fisheries monitoring is deficient in Brazil and historical records are limited to irregular accounts spanning the last few decades, while this coastline has supported human populations for at least 6000 years. Here, we estimate Pre-Columbian subsistence catches for a large subtropical estuary in southern Brazil. Our results suggest that prehistoric populations may have extracted volumes of fish biomass higher or comparable to historical subsistence fisheries in the region, and that the latter are underestimated. If a long-term perspective is required to evaluate the current economic value and status of fisheries in subtropical and tropical South America, this should go beyond the historical time interval and integrate the contribution of Pre-Columbian archaeology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1124-1137
JournalFish and fisheries
Issue number6
Early online date29 Aug 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Aug 2019

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