Connections between fishermen and octopus in Coroa Vermelha Community, Santa Cruz Cabrália, Bahia, Brazil

Viviane S. Martins, Francisco José Bezerra Souto, Alexandre Schiavetti


Coral reefs are one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world and apart from carrying out important ecological
functions, they have an important socioeconomic role because they are source of income and livelihoods for several
communities. Coroa Vermelha, is a district of Santa Cruz Cabrália, State of Bahia, and, together with the northern portion
of Porto Seguro, it comprises the Coroa Vermelha APA (Environmental Protection Area). The artisanal fishing of octopus
still plays an important role for the local population, although tourism is a more promising alternative. This study covers
the behaviour of the octopus fishermen from Coroa Vermelha relating to their catch, other elements of the ecosystem, and
possible conservation implications, following a broad ethnoecological approach. Non-structured interviews, followed by
semi-structured and structured interviews, with randomly selected octopus fishermen and with “native specialists”, were
carried out. The semi-structured interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. The technique of direct observation,
when fishermen were accompanied during the fishing, was also used. Twenty fishermen were interviewed; eight of whom
were considered “native specialists”. Two techniques of capture were reported, the catching of octopus over the reef and
through diving, and five sampling points were cited as the most frequently fished by the local octopus fishermen. Amongst
the proposed interactions, that of human/plant interactions was found to be the weakest and that of human/animal the
strongest when fishing for octopus.



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