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Abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear in Brazil: A review

Link, Jéssica, Segal, Bárbara, Casarini, Luiz Miguel
Perspectives in ecology and conservation 2018
beaches, coasts, conservation areas, fisheries, fishing line, habitats, islands, marine debris, monitoring, ropes, Brazil
Brazil has a strong tradition in fisheries and is consequently affected by the impacts of this activity. Fishing-related debris, as abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) is an example of indirect impact. While reports on ALDFG are becoming more frequent worldwide, Brazil is still deficient in this information. The main objective of the present study was to review the knowledge on ALDFG in the country, as a contribution to the management of marine debris from fishing. The study also sought to investigate the number of scientific studies that report ALDFG, what sites were sampled and what are the knowledge gaps in this subject. An extensive literature review was carried out to obtain detailed information. Thirty-two studies were obtained from different fields of research reporting the presence of ALDFG in Brazil, with only nine focusing specifically on this topic. The most recorded items were nets, ropes and fishing lines found on beaches, submerged in coastal areas and in oceanic islands. The reports of ALDFG covered 12 of the 17 Brazilian coastal states, with significant presence of debris within protected areas. Overall there were few studies on the subject in Brazil. There are knowledge gaps regarding ALDFG in regions with depths greater than 45m and distant 12 nautical miles from the coast, and regarding indirect impacts of ALDFG, such as habitat changes. Thus, more studies and actions are needed to minimize the occurrence of ALDFG in Brazil and to guarantee its inclusion in monitoring and management actions of protected areas.