ISSN 1678-2305 online version
Scientific Note
In the middle Negro River, there have been several conflicts between the different fishing modalities
due to the differential use of the fishing resource and the dispute over the same fishing areas.
Giulia Cristina dos Santos Lopes1
In this way, the spatial dynamics of commercial fishing in the municipality of Barcelos in the middle
Carlos Edwar de Carvalho Freitas2
Negro River were analyzed, aiming to identify the locations used in the fisheries that may have
different potentials and demand different actions. Information was collected from commercial
fisher regarding the location of fishing sites and the frequency of use during high and low water
periods. The geographic coordinates were identified with Q-Gis software and later submitted to a
kernel-intensity technique. Eight fishing sites were used in commercial fisheries in Barcelos. In both
hydrological periods, fishing occurred with a greater intensity in the Demeni River. Its waters change
1Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia -
from light to white throughout the year, and there are several marginal areas that could serve as
INPA, Programa de Pós-graduação em Biologia de
nurseries for various species of fish. Possibly, in this environment, there is a greater probability
Água Doce e Pesca Interior, Av. André Araújo, 2936,
of conflicts occurring between the different resource users since this river is also exploited by
Petrópolis, CEP 69067-375, Manaus, AM, Brasil.
recreational and subsistence fishers. This result shows that the spatial dynamics of fisheries can be
E-mail: (corresponding
truly important for management proposals.
Key words: inland fishery; fishing zoning; kernel; Barcelos.
Universidade Federal do Amazonas - UFAM, Faculdade
de Ciências Agrárias, Departamento de Ciências
Pesqueiras, Av. General Rodrigo Otávio, 3000, Coroado,
CEP 69077-000, Manaus, AM, Brasil.
Received: February 17, 2019
No Médio rio Negro vem ocorrendo diversos conflitos entre as diferentes modalidades de pesca
Approved: June 29, 2019
devido ao uso diferencial do recurso pesqueiro e à disputa pelas mesmas áreas de pesca. Dessa
forma, foi analisada a dinâmica espacial da pesca comercial no município de Barcelos, no Médio
rio Negro, visando espacializar os locais utilizados nas pescarias que podem possuir diferentes
potencialidades e demandar ações distintas. Foram coletadas informações com os pescadores
comerciais, referentes à localização dos locais de pesca e frequência de uso durante os períodos de
águas altas e baixas. As coordenadas geográficas foram espacializadas com o auxílio do software
Q-Gis e posteriormente foram submetidas a técnica de intensidade de Kernel. Foram utilizados
oito locais de pesca nas pescarias comerciais em Barcelos. Nos dois períodos hidrológicos as
pescarias ocorreram com maior intensidade no rio Demeni. Suas águas mudam de claras para
brancas ao longo do ano e existem várias áreas marginais que poderiam servir de berçário
para várias espécies de peixes. Possivelmente, nesse ambiente existe a maior probabilidade
de ocorrerem conflitos entre os diferentes usuários dos recursos, visto que esse rio também é
explorado pelos pescadores recreativos e de subsistência. Este resultado mostra que a dinâmica
espacial das pescarias pode ser realmente importante para as propostas de manejo.
Palavras-chave: pesca interior; zoneamento pesqueiro; kernel; Barcelos.
The Amazon basin hosts one of the most important freshwater fisheries in the world,
which is characterized by a high diversity of exploited species and a large number of
people engaged in fishing, including riverine people (Freitas et al., 2002; Ruffino,
2005). It has been estimated that fishing is the main income source for approximately
200,000 people (Fischer et al., 1992) and that more than 200 fish species have been
Lopes and Freitas Bol. Inst. Pesca 2019, 45(4): e491. DOI: 10.20950/1678-2305.2019.45.4.491
exploited (Barthem and Fabré, 2004), resulting in a total catch
of approximately 150,000 tons per year in Amazonas State alone
(Gandra, 2010).
Study area
In the middle Negro River, there are four types of fisheries:
The municipality of Barcelos, located on the left bank of the
ornamental, recreational, subsistence and commercial, and
middle Negro River, was the focal area (Figure 1). It is the main
they substantially contribute to the regional economy and the
urban center in this region and concentrates fish landings and
welfare of people (Freitas and Rivas, 2006; Correia, 2014).
harbors the more important fishing fleet (Inomata and Freitas,
The ornamental fishery is performed to the capture of demanded
2015). The Negro River is a typical black water river with a
by the aquarium market; fishers use dip nets and traps as fishing
low concentration of nutrients and a small primary productivity
(Goulding et al., 1988).
gears. The recreational fishery is predominantly developed in
black water rivers toward several species of Cichla. Riverine
people practice the subsistence fishery and the production is
Data collection
destined for your own alimentation. And professional fishers
The analyzed data comes from the project database “Zoning of fisheries
practice the commercial fishing and the capture is destined for
to promote sustainable development and minimize conflicts between
the commercialization in the main urban centers of the region
fisheries in Barcelos, AM” of FAPEAM/PROPESCA/RIONEGRO
(Santos and Santos, 2005; Freitas and Rivas, 2006).
which started in 2015. The information extracted was related
The white water rivers are more productive in terms of animal
to the fishing area and frequency of fishing in each site for the
biomass than black water rivers, possibly due to the productivity
extreme stations of the hydrological cycle: low water and high
of the adjacent floodplains that are annually flooded by rich
water, in the Barcelos city and the riverine villages of Ponta da
Terra, Bulixu, São Luiz and Cumaru. The fishers were orientated
sediments water (Saint-Paul and Bayley, 1979; Junk and Piedade,
to identify the fishing grounds on the map and to estimate the
1993; Isaac et al., 2016). However, the commercial fishing in the
frequency of fishing performed per local per season during the
middle Negro River has social and economic importance, and
hydrological cycle.
the production is landed in the markets of local urban centers,
mainly Barcelos, Santa Isabel do Rio Negro and São Gabriel da
Cachoeira, and some boats move toward Manaus to sell their
Data analysis
production (Silva, 2003; Correia, 2014).
The geographic coordinates of the fishing grounds were stored in
Due to its low importance in the regional context, studies on
Google Earth Pro software (version 7.1). Then, this information was
Negro River commercial fisheries are scarce (Silva, 2003; Correia,
converted to KML files for use in Q-GIS software (version 2.18),
2014; Inomata and Freitas, 2015), and none have addressed
where these files were changed to shapefiles and the frequency
of fishing-by-fishing ground was added using the dbf extension
the spatial distribution of commercial fishing, describing the
of the shapefiles. The kernel density estimation approach, that
fishing grounds and their exploitation intensity. This is essential
estimates the local intensity of an event scoring all the times this
information as a baseline for fishery management, mainly in
event occurs inside an area, was employed to evaluate the intensity
freshwater and small-scale fisheries, where a fisher’s knowledge
of commercial fishing at each fishing ground per season of the
is very important to the success of the fishery (Begossi, 2004).
Furthermore, in the Negro River basin, with the development of
recreational fishery emerged new conflicts between different types
of fishers that are associated with the use of fishing resources
and the territoriality (Freitas and Rivas, 2006; Barra et al., 2010;
Correia, 2014). And, knowledge on the spatial distribution of the
fishery could be very useful to fishery management proposals,
including fishing zoning.
Geographic information system (GIS) tools have been extensively
used to study fishing fleet distributions (Caddy and Carocci, 1999).
Begossi (2001) showed the utility of GIS tools as the basis for
the management of small-scale fisheries in southeastern Brazil.
Sousa and Freitas (2011) used GIS to perform a spatial analysis of
the commercial fishery of Colossoma macropomum on the lower
stretch of the Solimões river. This study aimed to investigate
the spatial distribution of commercial fishing performed in the
Middle Negro river basin by joining the GIS approach and fishers’
knowledge to contribute to future proposals for the sustainable
management of this fishery.
Figure 1. Location of the study area.
Lopes and Freitas Bol. Inst. Pesca 2019, 45(4): e491. DOI: 10.20950/1678-2305.2019.45.4.491
hydrological cycle. A radius of 3 km was assigned as the area to
avoid over positioning and to determine the correct identification
of the fishing grounds. Water level information was obtained from
the database of the Brazilian Agency of Water (abbreviated ANA
in Portuguese). The database Esri National Geography, available
at the plugin Quick Map Service do Q-GIS, was employed to
build the maps.
Twenty commercial fishers with extensive fishing experience in
the middle Negro River basin were interviewed. They identified
eight fishing grounds explored by the commercial fishing fleet
in Barcelos: (1) the main stem of the Negro River; (2) the Aracá
River; (3) the Demeni River; (4) the Itu River; (5) the Preto
River; (6) the Arirahá River; (7) the Juvari River; and (8) the
Figure 2. Places used for commercial fishing in Barcelos. (1) Negro
Quiuni River (Figure 2). Inomata and Freitas (2015) had already
River; (2) Aracá River; (3) Demeni River; (4) Itu River; (5) Preto
cited the Aracá, Demeni and Itu rivers as important rivers to the
River; (6) Arirahá River; (7) Jufari River; and (8) Quiuini River.
commercial fishery in this region. The number of exploited fishing
grounds was different from that recorded by Silva (2011), who
documented 120 fishing sites when interviewing 67 fishers in the
municipality of Santa Isabel do Rio Negro. In addition, in the
municipality of Coari, in the middle Solimões River, 221 fishing
sites were recorded among rivers, lakes and streams, and lakes
were the most used environments (Corrêa et al., 2012). The high
level of empirical knowledge of small-scale fisheries has been
described by several authors (Freitas et al., 2002; Begossi, 2004)
and is the reason for a few preferential fishing grounds in a large
area such as the middle Negro River basin. The fishers know
certain areas in the river where target fish species are found,
according to the local knowledge transmitted by generations
(Ribeiro, 1995; Silva, 2011).
The predominance of rivers as fishing grounds could be due to
the geomorphological characteristics of this region. The Negro
River and its tributaries are ancient rivers with well-defined
Figure 3. Intensity of commercial fisheries during the low water
channels with headwaters in the old areas of the Guyanna
season in Barcelos.
Plateau, exhibiting narrower floodplain areas than white water
rivers (Ab’Saber, 2002). Nevertheless, the ecological behavior
of the target species could also explain the predominance of river
fisheries. This pattern was also observed on the low stretch of the
Amazonas River (Isaac et al., 2004) and at the middle Madeira
River (Cardoso and Freitas, 2007), but the opposite pattern, with a
predominance of lake fisheries, was found in the middle Solimões
River (Corrêa et al., 2012) and Juruá River (Alcântara et al., 2015).
The fishing intensity oscillated between 0 and 5.62 and between
0 and 5.79 in the low water and high water seasons, respectively
(Figures 3 and 4). A greater number of fishing grounds were
explored during the low water season than during the high water
season. Possibly, this occurred because the dimensions of the aquatic
environment diminish in the low water period and some places
nearer the urban centers might become unavailable for fishing.
Thus, fishers need to seek more fishing sites to obtain higher
yields (Petrere, 1978; Begossi, 2001). In the high water period,
with the elevation of the water level new habitats are formed and
Figure 4. Intensity of commercial fisheries during the high water
the fish disperse in the environment (Fink and Fink, 1978), so that
season in Barcelos.
Lopes and Freitas Bol. Inst. Pesca 2019, 45(4): e491. DOI: 10.20950/1678-2305.2019.45.4.491
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