From a conservationist perspective, seahorses are threatened fishes. Concomitantly, from a socioeconomic perspective, they represent a source of income to many fishing communities in developing countries. An integration between these two views requires, among other things, the recognition that seahorse fishers have knowledge and abilities that can assist the implementation of conservation strategies and of management plans for seahorses and their habitats. This paper documents the knowledge held by Brazilian fishers on the biology and ecology of the longsnout seahorse Hippocampus reidi. Its aims were to explore collaborative approaches to seahorse conservation and management in Brazil; to assess fishers' perception of seahorse biology and ecology, in the context evaluating potential management options; to increase fishers' involvement with seahorse conservation in Brazil. Data were obtained through questionnaires and interviews made during field surveys conducted in fishing villages located in the States of Piauí, Ceará, Paraíba, Maranhão, Pernambuco and Parú. We consider the following aspects as positive for the conservation of seahorses and their habitats in Brazil: fishers were willing to dialogue with researchers; although captures and/or trade of brooding seahorses occurred, most interviewees recognized the importance of reproduction to the maintenance of seahorses in the wild (and therefore of their source of income), and expressed concern over population declines; fishers associated the presence of a ventral pouch with reproduction in seahorses (regardless of them knowing which sex bears the pouch), and this may facilitate the construction of collaborative management options designed to eliminate captures of brooding specimens; fishers recognized microhabitats of importance to the maintenance of seahorse wild populations; fishers who kept seahorses in captivity tended to recognize the condtions as poor, and as being a cause of seahorse mortality. © 2005 Rosa et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Rosa, I. M. L., Alves, R. R. N., Bonifácio, K. M., Mourão, J. S., Osório, F. M., Oliveira, T. P. R., & Nottingham, M. C. (2005). Fishers’ knowledge and seahorse conservation in Brazil. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 1. https://doi.org/10.1186/1746-4269-1-12