In 2024, the fishing it is released from February 29th, with the end of piracema, when the schools swim against the currents to reproduce. The activity calendar aims to aid reproduction and prevent the extinction of species in Brazil.
In 1967, with the creation of the Fisheries Codea closed period was determined to protect native fish in times of vulnerability. Piracema, a word of indigenous origin that means “rise of the fish”, begins between the months of October and November, when the activity is suspended.
The measure — extremely important for the conservation of aquatic ecosystems — allows females to lay their eggs calmly and without threats, in addition to contributing to an increase in populations, according to the Fisheries Institute.
“It’s like a population of pregnant women going to the maternity ward and, along the way, no one can do anything with them. If you catch a fish with too many babies, you will end up with a generation. Piracema itself is a biological and ecological phenomenon”, explains Adriano Prysthonresearcher at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) Fisheries and Aquaculture.
Is the piracema the same for all States?
No. In Mato Grosso, for example, the closed season began on October 2, 2023 and ended on February 1, 2024. In São Paulo, it began on November 1, 2023 and runs until February 28, 2024.
“It cannot be the same because the river basins and marine environments are different. Despite being in a single country, Brazil has more than 8 thousand kilometers of coastline with diverse places, characteristics, fisheries and species”.
The capture of catfish, dorado, jaú, pintail, lambari, yellow mandi, silver mandi and piracanjuva is prohibited. On the other hand, it is allowed to fish for apaiari, black bass, African catfish, carp, croaker, kingfish, freshwater sardines, black piranha, tilapia, tucunaré and zoiudo.
During the piracema period, fishermen who prove that they depend exclusively on the activity are benefited by the National Social Security Institute (INSS) with defense insurance, of a minimum wage (R$ 1,412) per month.
Does the moon influence fishing?
Researcher Adriano Prysthon states that the Moon influences freshwater and marine fishing, although there is still no solid knowledge on the subject. According to the Embrapa researcher, certain species are most captured during the full moon, while others disappear at the same time because they can see the net in the sea.
“I worked on a shrimp farm where, during the full moon, they were in the pond doing laps as if it were an Olympic lap. It was a kind of trance”, he says in an interview with Rural Globe.
What is the best month to fish?
In industrial fishing, carried out on a large scale, it is possible to define some periods, as certain species have a defined harvest period, just like in agriculture. On the other hand, artisanal fishing, with small vessels, varies according to the region and undergoes changes every year.
In Santa Catarina, a reference state for mullet fishing, for example, the period for capturing the species begins in May. In 2023, 250 thousand fish were captured in beach trawling in Florianópolis. Other cities on the coast also stood out, such as Bombinhas, Garopaba and Palhoça, with 40 thousand each. In Balneário Camboriú, the number was 20 thousand.
“With different characteristics, the capture of shrimp at the mouth of the Amazon River takes place over a certain period. But if you go to Bahia, the shrimp are different, the water is different, everything is different. Therefore, we do not have a definition for this.”
How does the weather impact fishing?
“Trying to explain the influence of climate on fishing is the same as talking about how it affects human beings. If the weather is pleasant, we can live well. But, as soon as we have extreme temperatures, our lives and those of the fish are harmed”, warns the researcher.
An example to prove the statement is the red tide phenomenon, recorded on the beaches of Barra de Santo Antônio, in Alagoas, and Ipojuca, in Pernambuco, in January 2024.
The increase in seawater temperature and environmental and climatic conditions have led to the proliferation of large quantities of red microalgae. They released a lethal toxin, causing the death of fish and problems for bathers, such as allergies, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, tremors, burning eyes and shortness of breath.
According to G1, almost 200 people were admitted to emergency units with symptoms of seaweed poisoning in Alagoas. “This only happens when we have an environmental imbalance. We saw another problem in Manaus with the drying up of many rivers. If fish are affected, so is fishing. Weather events that were rare in the past are much more frequent now,” says Prysthon.
How to reduce fishing losses?
As it is not possible to control the climate, one of the measures adopted by Embrapa to try to reduce losses and losses in fishing is through research. In this way, science is placed at the service of society to alert governments about the effects of climate phenomena in Brazil.
“From there, they can make political decisions and somehow change the consequences we suffer in practice”, says the researcher