ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF THE UNSUSTAINABLE HARVEST OF LIVE BAIT FOR SPORT FISHING IN THE BRAZILIAN PANTANAL BIOME – A REVIEW

Cleber J. R. Alho

Abstract


This paper offers a review and discussion on environmental aspects of live bait capture for sport fishing within the Pantanal wetland. The extractive exploitation of live bait has intensified in the region due to the growing flow of tourists in search of sport fishing, who pay for this bait, creating a consolidated market. Because baitfish are often harvested from mixed stocks in the wild, the potential for bycatch exists, also leading to the disruption of their fragile habitat, affecting species assemblages in the wetland ecosystem. These target small fish, such as tuvira and other organisms, live in small-depth seasonally flooded ecosystems, usually covered by aquatic macrophytes. Due to the intense demand, this market brought in a socioeconomic factor, favoring the collectors of live bait. However, extraction has been done intensively to meet the growing demand, consequently causing damage to the fragile ecosystems and natural habitats occupied by these organisms used as live bait. The macrophyte species occurring in the Pantanal wetland vary depending on seasonal inundation and on various degrees of dependence of water. There has been limited focus on the socioeconomic and ecological consequences of recreational fishing in this biome. Also, there is particularly a scarcity of information on the consequences of the current live bait harvest on the natural habitats where the organisms live. This review explores some of the complex ecological interactions that occur with regard to live bait extractivism as well as identifies and analyzes environmental damage, emphasizes the socioeconomic importance of the extractive activity, and proposes a line of action to construct a management plan looking for the sustainability of the extractive resource of live bait within the Pantanal.


Keywords


aquatic macrophytes; environmental damage; angling; flooded habitats; recreational fishery.

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4257/oeco.2020.2403.01

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