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The offshore recreational fisheries of northeastern Brazil.


Offshore recreational fisheries of northeastern Brazil have increased in importance in recent years, even though offshore recreational fishing has been occurring for a long time along the southeastern Brazilian coast. There, fishing competitions targeting billfishes have been taking place annually since the 1960s (Arfelli et al., 1994; Barroso, 2002; Paiva & Pires-Junior, 1983). Cisneros-Montemayor & Sumaila (2010) noted gaps in the information available on Brazilian marine recreational fisheries, such as the absence of participation rate. Even though these authors presented one global estimate of expenditure by recreational fishers, estimates by country were not given. In the estimation process, Cisneros-Montemayor & Sumaila (2010) assumed that absence of data on recreational fisheries suggested that they do not exist, or were very small, but is not the case in Brazil where this activity is significant (Freire et al., 2016a). However, concerning management, only a few measures are currently in place. The main ones being the requirement of a fishing license, a bag limit of 15 kg/fisher/day for marine waters (plus one specimen of any species and any size/weight, except for those prohibited by any additional legislation), and the prohibition to sell the catch (Freire et al., 2012).

Freire (2005) was the first to describe recreational fisheries off northeastern Brazil and estimated annual catches at around 1150 ton (not split between onshore and offshore fisheries). The offshore recreational fisheries expanded to the northeastern region (Bahia, Pernambuco and Rio Grande do Norte), but without being firmly established, probably due to economic constraints. Later, Freire (2010) and Freire et al. (2014) studied recreational fisheries off northeastern Brazil but concentrated their efforts on coastal fisheries due to their easier access to the members of fishing clubs targeting mainly coastal species. Therefore, the offshore recreational fisheries in this region remain mostly unknown to the scientific community, as there is no general understanding among stakeholders of the importance of data for future planning and assessment of the sustainability of this activity.

Brazil has no system of catch data collection for recreational fisheries as compared to, e.g., Canada (Brownscombe et al., 2014). There, biological, social, and economic data related to recreational fisheries have been collected nationally through mail survey every five years since 1975. On the other hand, much of the data estimated by Freire et al. (2016a) is based on local studies compiled in Freire et al. (2016b) and a database of anglers' licenses. More studies focusing on different regions and components of recreational fisheries are still required. Thus, this study aims to describe the offshore recreational fisheries of northeastern Brazil, based on a case study from Paraiba State, and to estimate their total annual catch and economic impacts.

Pauly (2016) makes a case for the importance of including all components responsible for the extraction of fish resources from their habitat, even in cases where bold assumptions are required. Otherwise, some trends could be overlooked. As it was the case for the Bahamas, e.g., where 55% of catches were originating from recreational fisheries and were never included in national catch statistics (Smith & Zeller, 2016). Similarly, recreational catches for west Africa had never been estimated before Belhabib et al. (2016). These authors indicated a current high economic value of this activity for that region and stated the importance of catch the trend in the early development of this activity, what seems to be the case for the growing offshore recreational fisheries in northeastern Brazil.


Offshore recreational fisheries in Paraiba State

To describe the pattern of offshore recreational fisheries in the northeastern region, we based our study in a fishing operation based in Joao Pessoa, the capital of Paraiba State (Fig. 1). This analysis was based on logbooks available for the period 2008-2015, which report on the location of the fishing operation, the number of recreational fishers (or 'anglers'), and the catch per species. These logbooks were used to estimate total offshore catches by anglers in the state and to describe the main features of fishing operations. No operator is required to report catch data for their operations in Brazil. Joao Pessoa is the only state where the operator reported catch data in private logbooks due to his interest. This operator reported information for all fishing trips.

The economic contribution of offshore recreational fisheries for the state was assessed using the mean expenditure reported by respondents of a questionnaire based on an adapted version of a testing manual provided by Southwick Associates (WECAFC/OSPESCA/CRFM/CFMC, undated), distributed by email to all clients (n = 110) of the only offshore fishing operation established in Paraiba State. This questionnaire contained 24 open- and close-ended questions including general socio-economic features of each angler, information on fishing habits, and expenses related to their last fishing trip to Joao Pessoa. Three reminders one-month apart were sent to each client, who answered the questionnaire between March and June 2014.

Offshore recreational fisheries in northeastern Brazil

The total recreational catch for northeastern Brazil was obtained by adding three components: catches by operators, daily catches by anglers and catches from fishing competitions (tournaments, championships, jamborees). The term 'operators' refers to entrepreneurs taking anglers offshore for recreational fishing, while fishing competitions refer to any event where anglers compete for an award (e.g., money, car, motorcycle, boat or outboard motor). Daily catches refer to any anglers' fishing activity conducted neither during fishing competitions nor with a professional captain (operator).

The number of offshore fishing operators in the region was obtained through an online search. Each operator, identified online, was asked when their operation started (if this information was not readily available) and to name other operators in the region, i.e., using a snowball strategy. Total catch from operators (considering that each of them owns only one boat) was then obtained by multiplying catches estimated in the previous section for the operator based in Paraiba State by the number of fishing operators in each year in the region (Table 1).

For daily catches, the starting point was the number of licenses issued for the northeastern region (2010-2014) (Table 1). Even though electronic databases are available since 2002, they represent an unknown fraction of the total number of licenses, as only permits issued online were included (i.e., the hard copy licenses were not encoded). It was not until mid-2009 that all licenses started to be issued online and managed by the same institution, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (MPA). All anglers are required to have a fishing license to go fishing in private boats and also with an operator (for-hire captain), except for children (younger than 18 years). Elderly anglers (65 years for men and 60 years for women) are also required to obtain a license, even though they do not pay the license fee. Catches were estimated using the license database for each year (built based on a questionnaire filled by anglers when acquiring their licenses). The CPUE values used were those estimated for the Paraiba State for each year (the only ones available after being assessed in this study). In the questionnaire associated with each license, anglers stated how many days they spent fishing in the state of residence and outside. Additionally, they were requested to name the most preferred state for fishing outside their state of residence. Here, we considered that half of these days were spent in the preferred state (if within the northeastern region), the only one that could be included here, as the others were not stated. Thus, the observed increase or decrease rate in the number of anglers and number of fishing days between 2010 and 2011 were applied for 2008 and 2009. In the absence of a better alternative, the trend between 2013 and 2014 was extrapolated to 2015.

For those anglers stating they 'sometimes' released the fish they caught, based on the questionnaire of each license, we assumed a release fraction of 0.5 of their daily catch. Those anglers who 'always' released their recreational catch were not included, and the catches of anglers who 'never' released their fish were counted in their entirety. Only anglers stating they fish exclusively offshore were included in the estimation. Thus, last catch originating from daily activities (Cda) were calculated as:

[C.sub.DA] = pCR x nfd x na x CPUE

where pCR: proportion of catch-and-release (0.5 or 1.0), nfd: number of fishing days in Northeastern Brazil (also from the questionnaire of each license and included in the license database), na: number of anglers fishing only offshore (from the license database); and CPUE: mean catch per unit of effort (based on the logbooks previously mentioned for Paraiba State; see Table 1).

Finally, catches from fishing competitions in northeastern Brazil were obtained online (Pernambuco), by monitoring some events (Rio Grande do Norte and Fernando de Noronha Island), or from event organizers who kindly provided original catch records for some years (Fernando de Noronha Island) (Table 1).

Catches for Pernambuco State were estimated based on information available online. 'Points' were converted into weight for some years, while photos for other events were used to identify all species caught, and estimate total catch based on the number of individuals caught per species and their mean weight as estimated for Paraiba State (obtained as described in the previous section).

The economic importance of offshore recreational fisheries for the northeastern Region was assessed using the mean expenditure reported by respondents of the questionnaire based on the testing manual provided by Southwick Associates mentioned in the previous section and applied to clients of the operator in Paraiba State. The mean expenditure reported by the respondents was extrapolated for the entire northeastern region considering the proportionality between expenditure (estimated here) and monthly income (stated in the license database) for residents and non-residents, separately. For this, we also considered the number of anglers that declared fishing only offshore and the number of days fishing in their state of residence. For visitors, we considered that half of the stated numbers of fishing-days were spent in the preferred state outside the area of residence (if in nor-the-astern Brazil), the only such information in the online questionnaire.


Offshore recreational fisheries in Paraiba state

An average of 227 [+ or -] 11 recreational fishing licenses were issued annually for Paraiba State in the last three years for which data were available, representing 4-10% of all licenses issued in the nine states of the northeastern region. About 5% of those 227 license holders declared fishing only offshore. Even though offshore recreational fisheries have been practiced in Paraiba state for at least 30 years, the first and only business catering to this activity began in 2004. Moreover, complete daily logbooks were kept only from 2008 onwards, and it is the only longtime series available for northeastern Brazil. These logbooks indicate that each fishing trip usually runs from 06:00 h to 18:00 h, throughout the year, but mainly in January (Fig. 2). The number of trips in January was the highest (7 day-long trips on average), as it corresponds to the austral summer and the usual vacation period. August is the worst month to go fishing, as rains and strong winds beset it. There was less than one trip on average for that month, and also for June and July for the several years we had data. Most of the fishing trips took place during the weekends (72% on Saturdays or Sundays).

The average annual catch-per-unit-of-effort (CPUE) for 2008-2015 ranged from about 6 to 12 kg angler/day (Fig. 3). This result should be viewed cautiously as the number of days used here does not represent the number of days spent fishing, but the actual duration of the trip, i.e., from the day the boat left the harbor until its return. Also, not all persons listed in the logbooks may have been fishing during that trip. This information should be improved in the future to capture effective fishing days and the actual number of anglers, not all passengers. Most of the catches were tunas and bonitos (Thunnus spp. and Euthynnus alletteratus), amberjacks (Seriola rivoliana and other Seriola species), barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda), snappers (Lutjanus vivanus and L. analis), mackerels (Scomberomorus cavalla and S. brasiliensis), dolphin-fish (Coryphaena hippurus), and horse-eye jack (Caranx latus) (about 80% of all specimens caught; Table 2). Catches also included one unidentified shark. It is worth pointing out that the name of the species caught and their number (or weight) was not reported in the logbooks analyzed here, especially in the first years of operation. Instead, only total catches were reported, with about 36% being reported as 'marine fishes nei'. This category was followed by Scombridae (22.8% in weight), Carangidae (20.7%), Lutjanidae (7.3%), Sphyraenidae (4.9%), Serranidae (4.8%), Coryphaenidae (1.2%), Istiophoridae (1.2%) and other species (1.1%), out of a total catch of 4055 kg over the entire period we analyzed. Thus, the number of specimens presented in Table 2 represents an underestimation of catch per species.

We found that most of the anglers that fished in offshore waters off Paraiba were males (96%), with ages between 5 and 81 years (average = 42 years), and overwhelmingly Brazilian (94%), even though there were anglers from Sweden, Italy, the United States of America, and Germany.

Among the Brazilians, most of them were residents (about 70%), followed by anglers from Pernambuco (neighbor state) and Sao Paulo (in southeastern Brazil) states. However, there were also anglers from the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Parana (southern region), Espirito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, and Minas Gerais (southeastern region), and Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul (center-western region), including the Federal District (i.e., Brasilia). Most of the fishers (80%) only fished once, but some of them have taken part in 2-93 trips (Fig. 4). The highest number of recurrent trips was associated with operators, their relatives, or residents.

The response rate for the 110 questionnaires used to assess the expenditure with offshore fishing operation in Paraiba State was 21%. The responses were mainly sent by resident anglers, as well as some from Pernambuco and Sao Paulo states. These states correspond to the residence of most of the clients recorded in the logbooks analyzed above (additionally, there was a response from one Italian angler). The respondents target mainly wahoo, tuna, grouper, barracuda, carangid, and dolphinfish (Fig. 5).

All these species are effectively caught as shown in Table 2. In general, the target species are similar for residents and non-residents from Sao Paulo and Pernambuco states. However, residents tend to target groupers, snappers, and carangids preferentially.

The respondents stated an average expenditure of R$647 per angler (US$276) before leaving to Joao Pessoa in travel agency fees, airplane tickets, and bus tickets. Average spending while in Joao Pessoa was R$1302 (US$555), mainly related to boat services, including fishing guides, and hotel, with a total expenditure per trip of R$1949 (US$831). The average trip duration is about 1.8 days, which results in daily spending of R$1264 (US$539).

Offshore recreational fisheries in northeastern Brazil

The total recreational catch for northeastern Brazil was obtained adding three components: catches from operators, from anglers' daily activities, and from competitions. Twenty-two offshore fishing operators were found in the region, with the earliest operation starting in 1996 in Bahia State. Information on the year of establishment was not found for some operators, but data available indicate a steady increase (Fig. 6). Catches estimated for all offshore operators, based on data collected for Paraiba State, added to a maximum of about 13 ton in 2011 (Fig. 7). This extrapolation was done considering that marine waters off all nine states of the northeastern region are included in the East Brazil Large Marine Ecosystem (Heileman, 2008) and, as such, share common features.

Within the component daily catches, a maximum annual catch of over 77 ton was estimated for 2011, based on the yearly CPUE estimated for the only offshore operation established in Paraiba State (Fig. 3) and the number of licenses issued for anglers living in this region (Table 4) and of visitors (Fig. 7; see also Table 1).

Offshore competitions have been promoted in northeastern Brazil at least since 1996. These events only took place off Rio Grande do Norte, Pernambuco, and Bahia states as well as the oceanic Fernando de Noronha Island (administratively dependent on Pernambuco). The results of these competitions are not widely disseminated, and thus Table 5 has gaps. Based on the catch data available, the highest catches were observed in 1998 when almost 1.9 ton was landed (Table 5).

Catches declined in later years due to the introduction of catch-and-release in the events promoted in the region. Thus, the total extraction represents a crude estimate. The species composition was only partially available for Fernando de Noronha Island and Rio Grande do Norte State. The composition is similar in terms of species but with different proportions: Istiophorus platypterus, Sphyraena barracuda and Thunnus spp. are abundant around the oceanic Fernando de Noronha Island (78.6% of total catches), and Acanthocybium solandri, Coryphaena hippurus and Istiophorus platypterus (85.4%) off Rio Grande do Norte State (Table 6).

Adding the three components of catches (from operators, daily activities, and competitions) yields a peak of 99 ton in 2011, followed by a decline onwards (Fig. 7). For 2013 to 2015, the average annual catch amounted to 55 ton. The main component of the catch originated from daily activities and catches from competitions were too low (and indeed underestimated).

The expenditure data estimated for Paraiba State, and presented in Table 3, was extrapolated to the entire northeastern region and suggests that offshore anglers may have spent about US$1.5 million in 2014 (including expenses before and after leaving the state of residence). A total of 80% of the expenditure was associated with anglers from the Espirito Santo, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro states. It is worth pointing out that, based on the information provided together with the license databases, anglers from the northeastern region, who prefer fishing in their state of residence, had a monthly income corresponding to half of the ones who declared mainly fishing elsewhere in northeastern Brazil. This information was used here to estimate some missing values for the region.


A comprehensive description of offshore recreational fisheries in northeastern Brazil depends on the willingness of stakeholders to share information. Thus, much of the results presented here had to be estimated based only on limited available local news and/or by using data from neighboring states, but all included in the same Large Marine Ecosystem: east Brazil (Heileman, 2008).

There are still many aspects of the three components of offshore recreational fisheries (operators, daily catches, and competitions) in northeastern Brazil that should be described. However, based on the information available, we were able to estimate total catches for the region amounting to about 60 ton in 2015. This estimate was based on the CPUE observed for Paraiba State of 8.6 kg [angler.sup.-1] [d.sup.-1] in the same year. The mean CPUE for that state was much lower than the mean value of about 30 kg angler d-1 estimated for some countries in West Africa (Belhabib et al., 2016). This difference in CPUE for these two areas probably reflects the relatively "pristine" status of coastal game fish in some West African countries (Belhabib et al., 2016). Also, the area studied here is part of the East Brazil Large Marine Ecosystem, which is oligotrophic, with low nutrient load and phytoplankton production (Gaeta et al., 1999). The total estimated catch was relatively small, finally, also due to us considering only licensed anglers, as there is no information available on the ratio between licensed and non-licensed offshore anglers for northeastern Brazil. Moreover, only those anglers who stated that they fish exclusively offshore were included here. Thus, our catch most probably represents an underestimation of the total impact of recreational fisheries in the region. On the other hand, we used data from operators to extrapolate to the daily activities of recreational fishers, which could be a source of overestimation, which hopefully could compensate for the underestimation previously discussed. This issue could only be solved when studies are carried out in the region to estimate the ratio between licensed and non-licensed oceanic fishers, and also to estimate the possible source of bias related to the use of CPUE for operators as a proxy for daily activities of fishers.

Even though recreational catches are small, compared to commercial catches (based on an updated version of the database compiled by Freire et al., 2016a), one should note that the number of operators is steadily increasing. The effort of offshore anglers is concen-trated in a smaller number of species with life histories that render them readily susceptible to overexploitation (e.g., Coleman et al., 2004). Also, 18 of the species reported here were also targeted by spearfishers in the state of Bahia (Costa-Nunes et al., 2012). Amongst scombrids, most of the catches were of Thunnus spp. Even though local anglers did not identify tunas, they may be represented mostly by Thunnus atlanticus, as this is the most coastal tuna species, subjected nearby to an artisanal fishery targeting this species from September to January (Freire et al., 2005). Indeed, the highest recreational catches for Thunnus spp. off Paraiba were reported from September to March (data not shown). IBAMA (2007) reported the catches of Thunnus albacares, T. alalunga and T. obesus of an industrial fleet based on Paraiba State, but this fleet operates in a much more extensive area than used by the recreational fishing operator.

For the carangids, most of the catch was represented by amberjacks, mainly S. rivoliana. Even though this species was one of the most commonly caught off Paraiba State, Feitoza et al. (2005) considered that S. rivoliana occurs only occasionally over the deep-reefs of our study area. Seriola spp. was also reported by Brusher et al. (1984) as caught by anglers in the southeastern US, even though in very low numbers. No information was found on the exploitation status of Seriola in Brazil. However, this group, which has a high market value, is commercially caught in some states of northeastern Brazil, such as Sergipe, where annual catches amounted to 22 ton in 2013 (Thome-Souza et al., 2014).

Catches of snappers were represented by Lutjanus vivanus, L. analis, L. synagris, Ocyurus chrysurus, and L. jocu. According to Fredou et al. (2009), except for L. vivanus, which was considered 'fully exploited,' all other species are overexploited in northeastern Brazil. A reduction in fishing effort of 80-90% was recommended for these species even before considering the additional effect of recreational fisheries. Thus, catch-and-release for this group may be promoted, but keeping in mind that survival of released fish will be highly dependent on capture depth (e.g., Gitschlag & Renaud, 1994; Brown et al., 2010).

One group that attracts many anglers is billfish. Only three specimens of Istiophorus platypterus were caught from 2008 to 2015 in waters off Paraiba State (20 and 27 kg; no information for the third), from December to early February. Catches in Fernando de Noronha Island were much higher, where 123 specimens were caught in competitions from 1996 to 2001, which may be considered a hotspot for this species in Brazilian waters. Commercial fisheries around that island also captures this species but in a low proportion (Lessa et al., 1998); it could be cited as one case were recreational catches might have surpassed commercial catches, considering only competitions. Another area that attracts anglers after large billfishes are the state of Bahia, in the southernmost part of the study area considered here. However, no information was available to quantify its importance, except for anecdotal evidence ( Results presented by Mourato et al. (2016) indicate that a slight decline in CPUE of sailfish for competitions is occurring in waters off Bahia State from 2009 to 2014. The assessment of the status of these stocks, as well as other large pelagics, is hampered by incomplete records and by their aggregation with other species (Collette et al., 2011).

Mahon (1999) called attention on the lack of catch reports for Coryphaena hippurus originating from recreational fisheries in some countries, including Brazil, from 1970-1997. Here we were able to partially fill this gap, indicating that anglers caught this species in Fernando de Noronha Island (peaking at about 240 kg during a competition in 2001), as well as in the Sates of Rio Grande do Norte (approximately 184 kg in a tournament in 1996) and Paraiba (about 97 kg in 2008-2015).

Offshore recreational catches in northeastern Brazil seem to have reached a peak in 2011. The last three years indicated a stable total catch, but the collection of information on fishing licenses for 2015 onwards will be very important to follow this trend, together with the increasing collaboration of fishing operators currently established in the region.

In comparison with other South American countries such as Venezuela, which have been reporting catch data in some areas since the 1960s (Gaertner & Alio, 1994), Brazil is falling behind in collecting information for this very important sector which is continuously growing, particularly in northeastern Brazil. However, it is ahead of Colombia, which does not present any structured data collection system for recreational fisheries (Alio, 2012). The same holds true for the Equator, even though it is well known that recreational fisheries occur off the coast of that country and some of the species caught are the same reported here for northeastern Brazil (Alava et al., 2015). Chile, on the other hand, started collecting information on catches by sports spearfishers due to increasing interest by commercial spearfishes, resulting in high landings in the last years (Godoy et al., 2010).

The mean expenditure of US$1.5 million by offshore anglers estimated here for northeastern Brazil in 2014 cannot be neglected. If compared to the US$383 million generated by the ex-vessel value of commercial catches in 2007 (IBAMA, 2007), the recreational value seems to be low. However, one should consider that this value is related to the value of both artisanal and industrial commercial fisheries. There are not many studies related to the economic value of recreational fisheries in Brazil, except for Venturieri (2002), Shrestha et al. (2002), and Angelo & Carvalho (2007), all related to freshwater recreational fisheries. No information is available for comparison with coastal recreational fisheries in northeastern Brazil up to this moment.

This study, carried out in very close collaboration with one of the operators in the region, is expected to trigger further partnership with other local operators to widen the results obtained in this study. Even though the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture was abolished in late 2015, with its mandate being transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply, and to the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Commerce and Services in 2017, we hope that some of the initiatives already in place like online issuance of fishing licenses with an appended questionnaire, and other efforts supporting the activity, are not lost, but instead will be further improved and extended to allow for better management of fisheries in Brazil. Thus, many of the recommendations presented by Arlinghaus et al. (2016) after the 7th World Recreational Fishing Conference held in Campinas-Sao Paulo-Brazil may be accomplished for Brazilian waters soon.


Our results clearly show that catches originating from offshore recreational fisheries in northeastern Brazil are small concerning commercial fisheries. However, the effort is concentrated over a small number of species (against 46 caught in industrial fisheries in the same region), some of which (snappers) considered overexploited in the region. Seriola rivoliana is one of the species with the highest catches by anglers, but not much is known about the status of the species. Thus, it is recommended that more information is collected on catches and biological variables for this species in the near future.

Our preliminary assessment of the economic value of recreational fishing suggests that efforts should be directed towards comparisons between recreational and commercial fisheries. It is also essential that information on the offshore recreational fisheries is made widely available before being lost, as it usually happens with the results of fishing competitions occurring in Brazil. It should be noted that the information provided here is still sparse and several gaps remain. Thus, a joint effort among anglers, scientists, fishing operators, and managers is required to complete the description of offshore recreational fisheries in Brazil and to move towards the analysis of other aspects of this activity as done in other parts of the world. Finally, some limitations of this study should be addressed in other initiatives comparing, for example, catch rates by operators and anglers using their boats, and also the proportion of license holders and non-holders which is currently unknown for northeastern Brazil. This study represents an important benchmark in recording catch data and estimating economic importance of a growing sector in northeastern Brazil. Keeping a thorough collection system of data related to recreational fisheries such as the one in Canada is still far from the local reality, considering that the collection system even for commercial fisheries for Brazil ended in 2007. However, keeping and improving the questionnaire accompanying the fishing license could help to reach a minimum understanding of the recreational sector, complemented with some necessary information to be provided by local studies, as pointed above. Moreover, rigorously implementing the obligation of tournament promoters to report detailed catch data could provide a cheap, plentiful source of information.

DOI: 10.3856/vol46-issue4-fulltext-14


We want to thank Michel Machado for providing data on fishing licenses. Samara Cristina for encoding part of the data used in this study. Rodolfo Aureliano Melo for making available all results of oceanic fishing competitions for Fernando de Noronha Island, and Bruna Suellen and Priscila Lopes for providing data for competitions in Rio Grande do Norte State, and Coordenacao de Aperfeicoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior for providing an Estagio Senior fellowship for the first author (CAPES Fellowship n. 99999.00577 3/2015-06).


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Received: 21 August 2017; Accepted: 23 March 2018

Katia Meirelles Felizola-Freire (1), Ussif Rashid-Sumaila (1), Daniel Pauly (2) & Gustavo Adelino (3)

(1) Fisheries Economics Research Unit, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

(2) Sea Around Us, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC, Canada

(3) Zagaia Pesca Oceanica, Joao Pessoa, Paraiba, Brazil

Corresponding author: Katia de Meirelles Felizola Freire (

Corresponding editor: Antonio Avila da Silva

Caption: Figure 1. Study area indicating all states included in the northeastern region of Brazil (Maranhao to Bahia). The states of Espirito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo (southeastern region) are also shown. Fernando de Noronha Island location is presented in the right side.

Caption: Figure 2. Mean [+ or -] SD number of fishing days per month for the offshore fishing operation based in Paraiba State (2008-2015).

Caption: Figure 3. Catch-per-unit-of-effort (CPUE) per year for the offshore recreational fishing operation based on Paraiba state.

Caption: Figure 4. The number of offshore fishing trips for recreational fishers off Paraiba State (2008-2015).

Caption: Figure 5. Main species targeted by respondents fishing offshore in Paraiba state based on a questionnaire circulated by e-mail (11 respondents from Paraiba, 6 from Sao Paulo, and 5 from Pernambuco).

Caption: Figure 6. The number of operators working on offshore fisheries in northeastern Brazil.

Caption: Figure 7. Total offshore recreational catch estimated for northeastern Brazil considering operators and daily catches, and fishing competitions. Catches from competitions are not shown due to their small value (annual catch smaller than 0.5 ton).
Table 1. Data used to reconstruct catches for three components of
offshore recreational fisheries of northeastern Brazil (2008-2015).
PB: Paraiba State, NE: northeastern Brazil.

Component            Feature            Year            Locality

Operators      Number of operators    2008-2015   Northeastern

               The total annual       2008-2015   Paraiba in NE
               catch for PB (CPB)

               The total annual       2008-2015   Northeastern
               catch for NE

Daily          CPUE (kg               2008-2015   Paraiba in NE
               [d.sup.-1]) from
               operator in PB

activities     Number of anglers      2010-2014   Residents in the
               (from the national                 states of NE
               license database)

                                      2010-2014   Non-residents

                                      2008-2009   Residents and non-

                                        2015      Residents and non-

               Number of fishing      2010-2014   Residents in NE
               days (only those
               fishing offshore)

                                      2010-2014   Non-residents

                                      2008-2009   Residents and non-

                                        2015      Residents and non-

               Final catch            2010-2015   Residents and
               originating from                   non-residents
               daily activities

Competitions   Total catch per year   1996-2015   * Rio Grande do
                                                  * Pernambuco
                                                  * Bahia
                                                  * Fernando de
                                                  Noronha Island

Component                          Source/comment

Operators      * Started with internet and snowball strategy
               * Assumption: 1 boat per operator

               * Based on the logbooks of the operator in PB
               * Catch by species

               * The total annual catch for NE = NO x CPB
               * No detail by species included to account for possible
               local differences

Daily          * CPUE from Paraiba extrapolated to northeastern Brazil
               (NE)--considering one single Large Marine Ecosystem
               (east Brazil).

activities     * The direct number of licenses for each year (selected
               anglers fishing only offshore, inhabiting one of the
               states in NE, releasing fish sometimes or never and
               boat owners).

               * The direct number of licenses for each year (selected
               anglers fishing only offshore, inhabiting outside NE,
               but declaring any state in NE as local of preference
               for fishing, or inhabiting in NE and fishing in another
               state in NE, releasing fish sometimes or never and boat
               owners or not).

               * Increasing trend for 2010-2011 used to estimate the
               number of anglers in 2008 and 2009 and then applied the
               proportion between boat owners and a total number of
               anglers for 2010 to 2008 and 2009 (Assumption: only
               boat owners practice daily activities; otherwise
               anglers will use operators).

               * Increasing trend for 2013-2014 used to estimate the
               number of anglers and proportion between boat owners
               and a total number of anglers used to 2014-2015.

               * Directly from the license database for each year, but
               multiplied by 0.5 if angler releases fish sometimes and
               by 1.0 if never releases (Mean value per year).

               * Directly from the license database for each year, but
               multiplied by 0.5 if angler releases fish sometimes and
               by 1.0 if never releases (Mean value per year).

               * Decreasing trend for 2010-2011 used to estimate the
               number of fishing days in 2008 and 2009.

               * Decreasing trend for 2013-2014 used to estimate the
               number of fishing days in 2015.

               * [C.sub.DA] = pCR x nfd x na x CPUE [pCR = proportion
               of catch-and-release (0.5 or 1.0); nfd = number of
               fishing days in NE (from the license database); na =
               number of anglers fishing only offshore (from the
               license database); and CPUE = mean catch per unit of
               effort (based on the logbooks for PB)].

Competitions   * Direct observation
               * From internet (number estimated based on photos and
               mean individual weight from operation in PB)
               * No data provided by organizers or available online
               * Catch data by species provided by the organizer

Table 2. Total catch (in numbers) and mean individual weight per
species for the offshore fishing operation established in Paraiba
State (2008-2015). (1) Includes Tylosurus sp., Thunnus atlanticus,
Rachycentron canadum, Selachimorpha (Pleurotremata), Lutjanus
cyanopterus, Alectis ciliares, and Panulirus sp., (2) English common
name for each species as in FishBase (Froese & Pauly, 2017), (3) Nei:
not elsewhere identified. Dashes (-) indicate species for which the
operator did not report individual weight.

Portuguese common name              English common
                                    name (2)

Albacora, atum                      Tuna
Pitangola, arabaiana chata          Longfin yellowtail
Barracuda, bicuda                   Great barracuda
Especies nao identificadas          Marine fishes nei
Bonito                              Little tunny
Pargo olho amarelo, pargo           Silk snapper
Cavala branca, cavala               King mackerel
Serra                               Serra Spanis mackerel
Arabaiana                           Amberjacks
Dourado                             Common dolphinfish
Cioba                               Mutton snapper
Xareu olhudo, garacimbora           Horse-eye jack
Cavala wahoo, aipim                 Wahoo
Badejo, sirigado                    Black grouper
Arioco                              Lane snapper
Guaiuba                             Yellowtail snapper
Dentao                              Dog snapper
Pargo ferreiro                      Blackjack
Garajuba, guarajuba                 Yellow jack
Olho de boi, arabaiana verdadeira   Greater amberjack
Olho de vidro, olho de cao          Grasseye
Cherne                              Groupers
Agulhao vela, sailfish              Sailfish
Albacora de laje                    Yellowfin tuna
Biquara                             White grunt
Bonito listrado                     Skipjack
Peixe rei                           Rainbow runner
Pirauna                             Coney
Xixarro                             Blue runner
Outras especies (1)                 Other species

Portuguese common name              Species

Albacora, atum                      Thunnus spp.
Pitangola, arabaiana chata          Seriola rivoliana
Barracuda, bicuda                   Sphyraena barracuda
Especies nao identificadas          Marine fishes nei (3)
Bonito                              Euthynnus alletteratus
Pargo olho amarelo, pargo           Lutjanus vivanus
Cavala branca, cavala               Scomberomorus cavalla
Serra                               Scomberomorus brasiliensis
Arabaiana                           Seriola spp.
Dourado                             Coryphaena hippurus
Cioba                               Lutjanus analis
Xareu olhudo, garacimbora           Caranx latus
Cavala wahoo, aipim                 Acanthocybium solandri
Badejo, sirigado                    Mycteroperca bonaci
Arioco                              Lutjanus synagris
Guaiuba                             Ocyurus chrysurus
Dentao                              Lutjanus jocu
Pargo ferreiro                      Caranx lugubris
Garajuba, guarajuba                 Carangoides bartholomaei
Olho de boi, arabaiana verdadeira   Seriola dumerili
Olho de vidro, olho de cao          Heteropriacanthus cruentatus
Cherne                              Hyporthodus sp.
Agulhao vela, sailfish              Istiophorus platypterus
Albacora de laje                    Thunnus albacares
Biquara                             Haemulon plumierii
Bonito listrado                     Katsuwonus pelamis
Peixe rei                           Elagatis bipinnulata
Pirauna                             Cephalopholis fulva
Xixarro                             Caranx crysos
Outras especies (1)                 Fish and lobster

Portuguese common name              Number   Mean individual
                                               weight (kg)

Albacora, atum                       134           2.6
Pitangola, arabaiana chata            65           3.5
Barracuda, bicuda                     59           5.8
Especies nao identificadas            50           --
Bonito                                44           2.8
Pargo olho amarelo, pargo             38           1.1
Cavala branca, cavala                 33           7.9
Serra                                 31           2.4
Arabaiana                             27          14.5
Dourado                               22           4.4
Cioba                                 21           3.6
Xareu olhudo, garacimbora             21           5.8
Cavala wahoo, aipim                   17          13.7
Badejo, sirigado                      16          13.9
Arioco                                14           0.5
Guaiuba                               14           4.0
Dentao                                11           --
Pargo ferreiro                        9            1.5
Garajuba, guarajuba                   8            5.5
Olho de boi, arabaiana verdadeira     8           21.0
Olho de vidro, olho de cao            6            2.8
Cherne                                4            7.7
Agulhao vela, sailfish                3           23.5
Albacora de laje                      3           34.3
Biquara                               2            --
Bonito listrado                       2            2.5
Peixe rei                             2            1.0
Pirauna                               2            --
Xixarro                               2            --
Outras especies (1)                   7            --

Table 3. Mean total daily expenditure stated by anglers fishing off
the coast of Paraiba State (R$1 = uS$0.43 in 2014).

State        Total expenditure (US$)    Number of
                Mean [+ or -] SD       respondents

Sao Paulo      1109 [+ or -] 1328           6
Pernambuco      186 [+ or -] 145            5
Paraiba          353 [+ or -]364            8

Table 4. The number of recreational fishing licenses
issued for each of northeastern Brazil states in 2014,
corresponding to anglers who stated fishing offshore
among other areas (# O. licenses) and only offshore (#
OO. licenses). Relative frequency corresponds to the
percentage of anglers of each state concerning the total of
northeastern Brazil fishing offshore among other areas.

State      # O. licenses   Rel. freq. (%)   # OO. licenses

Maranhao        30              2.6               2
Piaui            8              0.7               0
Ceara           144             12.3              25
Rio Grande      113             9.6               38
do Norte
Paraiba         46              3.9               6
Pernambuco      196             16.7              64
Alagoas         98              8.4               29
Sergipe         48              4.1               10
Bahia           488             41.7             177

Total          1171            100.0             351

Table 5. Catches (kg) from offshore fishing competitions in
northeastern Brazil. No event occurred in the other six states. Bold
entries are reported data, and the others are estimated using photos
or number of specimens caught available on the internet. Question
marks indicate the occurrence of events but unknown catches.

Year   Rio Grande   Pernambuco   Bahia    Fernando de     Total
        do Norte                         Noronha Island

1996      437#          0#        0#          806#        1243#
1997      231#          0#         ?         1236#        1468#
1998       ?            0#         ?         1851#        1851#
1999       0#           ?          ?         1688#        1688#
2000       0#          321         ?          682#        1004#
2001       0#           ?          ?          909#        909#
2002       0#           0#         ?           ?           0#
2003       0#           0#         ?           ?           0#
2004       0#           0#         ?           ?           0#
2005       0#           0#         ?           ?           0#
2006       0#           0#         ?           ?           0#
2007       0#           0#         ?           ?           0#
2008       0#           ?          ?           ?           0#
2009       0#           0#         ?           ?           0#
2010       ?            0#         ?           0#          0#
2011       ?            0#         ?           0#          0#
2012       ?            0#         ?           0#          0#
2013       ?            0#         ?           0#          0#
2014       ?           191         ?           0#         191#
2015      63#          439         ?           0#         502#

Note: Entries are reported data, and the others are estimated using
photos or number of specimens caught available on the internet are
indicated with #.

Table 6. Catch (in kg) and species composition of offshore fishing
competitions in Fernando de Noronha Island and Rio Grande do Norte
State (1996 to 2001). Question marks indicate the occurrence of events
but unknown catches. Dash (-) represents 'not applicable.'

Species                      1996   1997   1998   1999   2000   2001

Fernando de Noronha Island
Istiophorus platypterus       49    324    1148   816    364    203
Sphyraena barracuda          398    540    334    311    124    119
Thunnus spp.                 139    144    189    182    103    144
Acanthocybium solandri        39    118    108    252     27    146
Coryphaena hippurus          106     88     3     118     14    240
Marine fishes nei             32     22     18     8      38     36
Carangidae                    43     0      50     0      13     20
Released fish                 0      0      0      0     744     0
Rio Grande Do Norte
Acanthocybium solandri       129     95     ?      0      0      0
Coryphaena hippurus          184     18     ?      0      0      0
Istiophorus platypterus       65     79     ?      0      0      0
Thunnus atlanticus            40     18     ?      0      0      0
Sphyraena barracuda           18     15     ?      0      0      0
Thunnus alalunga              0      4      ?      0      0      0
Katsuwonus pelamis            0      2      ?      0      0      0

Species                        Total       %
                             catch (kg)

Fernando de Noronha Island
Istiophorus platypterus         2904      40.5
Sphyraena barracuda             1826      25.5
Thunnus spp.                    901       12.6
Acanthocybium solandri          690       9.6
Coryphaena hippurus             569       7.9
Marine fishes nei               154       2.1
Carangidae                      126       1.8
Released fish                   744        --
Rio Grande Do Norte
Acanthocybium solandri          224       33.6
Coryphaena hippurus             202       30.2
Istiophorus platypterus         144       21.6
Thunnus atlanticus               58       8.7
Sphyraena barracuda              33       5.0
Thunnus alalunga                 4        0.6
Katsuwonus pelamis               2        0.3
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Title Annotation:Research Article
Author:Felizola-Freire, Katia Meirelles; Rashid-Sumaila, Ussif; Pauly, Daniel; Adelino, Gustavo
Publication:Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research
Date:Sep 1, 2018
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