en brazil country page

sustainable fishing in brazil
why brazil?
fishers in a small boat
of Brazil’s fishers are registered as independent or small-scale operators
woman salting fish
or more of total fish landings are from coastal fisheries
fish catch
of fish stocks are fully exploited, overexploited, depleted or recovering

Protecting Brazilian reefs and mangroves is a critical step toward improving the health and biodiversity of the world’s oceans. Brazil is home to the third-largest mangrove area in the world, which directly supports 50 percent of its local fisheries production. This essential coastal vegetation, bolstered by nearly 50,000 acres of sea grasses, provides habitat for more than 750 species of plants, arthropods, mollusks, crustaceans, fish and birds, and helps to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

However rich, Brazil’s fisheries are on the brink of collapse, due to the destruction of mangroves and coastal ecosystems, and systematic overfishing. One in three fisheries that have commercial value are overexploited. Continued mismanagement of Brazil’s fisheries will imperil the food security and biodiversity benefits these vital systems have provided for generations.

the time is now

  • The Brazilian government is particularly receptive to new ideas for engaging fishing communities.
  • Existing fisheries management systems rely heavily on community engagement and buy-in – an area in which Rare specializes.
  • By 2020, the Brazilian government has committed to increasing the amount of marine protected areas along its coastline more than threefold.
  • Rare is developing strong partnerships with government entities, universities and local organizations that have worked with local fishing communities. Rare also receives support for its work in Brazil under the Bloomberg Philanthropies' Vibrant Oceans Initiative, which seeks to simultaneously reform coastal and industrial fisheries around the world.

Vibrant Oceans: Canavieiras, Brazil

Brazil is broadly committed to marine conservation. Expanding protected areas to at least 5% by 2020, protecting fish species under threat, and guaranteeing sustainable fishery, for small and large scale enterprises…Rare is one of our success cases."

Ana Cristina Barros, Secretary for Biodiversity at the Brazilian Ministry of Environment

power in partnerships

In March 2017, Rare’s Brazil team announced its new advisory board, which includes Bruno Mariani, President and CEO of Symbiosis Investimentos, Fábio Scarano, Executive Director of the Brazilian Foundation for Sustainable Development (FBDS), Pedro Genescá, attorney and founder of Carpenter and Genescá law firm and Rosa Lemos de Sá, CEO of the Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (Funbio). This group of highly experienced social and environmental leaders will share their expertise from the fields of conservation, finances, government, law and more to help us achieve our ambitious goals in Brazil. The advisory board meets twice a year.

Rare + Presente Consciente = a different way to give. 

You and your friends can make a difference and support Rare´s work in Brazil!

how we will succeed

for the first five years of the program, we will:

  • Strengthen managed access fishing areas for local fishers (known locally as RESEXs), covering nearly 700,000 hectares and establish no-take fishing zones within these areas.
  • Increase household living standards for approximately 7,500 families by helping them gain access to new business opportunities.
  • Increase fish biomass and abundance at project sites and improve catch management of commercial species that are crucial for the country, such as skid, shrimp and lobster.
  • Contribute to Brazil’s commitment to the Convention on Biological Diversity to establish protected areas in 10% of its waters.


fisher hauling in catch

photo: Enrico Marone (all above)

rare in the news

follow our journey

Revival in the Mangroves
September 1, 2017

Daniel started a Pride campaign with Rare in Maragogipe’s Capanema and Baixão do Guaí communities to drive sustainable management of oyster and thick lucine fisheries, and promote conservation of the mangroves that shelter them. Looking to the marisqueiras as the key players to lead local adoption of sustainable management, Daniel encouraged them to take ownership of their multiple identities as shellfish collectors, women, and quilombolas (descendants of Afro-Brazilian slaves) — and channel those identities as a unified body. Three years later, they’ve emerged as local leaders with newfound pride for their occupation — with all of its mess and toil — and the drive to balance oyster production with the preservation of the mangroves. Read more >

Rare Campaign Managers Graduation Ceremony
April 28, 2017

We are wrapping up our work from the first cycle of campaigns that started in 2014 on six Extractive Reserves all over the coast of Brazil (Iguape, Canavieiras, Cururupu, Delta, Pirajubaé and Prainha), from Santa Catarina to Maranhão States. On April 28th, 2017  we had the graduation ceremony of our campaign managers. Four of them received a Master’s Degree from UTEP and all them (a total of seven) received certificates from Rare and UCSB for completion of the FF and Pride Programs. Congratulations Mocinha, Vanessa, Petrina, Lindomar, Luciano, Daniel e Fabrício! The learning was mutual, you learned from us and we learned from you.  The feeling of pride is shared by all of us!

brazil graduation fellows

Rare Launches Seven New Campaigns
March 21, 2017

To kick off Rare’s new phase of work in seven new areas in the states of Para and Pernambuco, we hosted a workshop in Belem on March 21 – 23, 2017. We had 40 participants from the Para Secretaries of Science and Technology, and Environment, the Forest and Biodiversity Institute for Para, the Federal University of Pernambuco and Para (UFPE and UFPA), the University of the Amazon (Unama), and the local grassroots organizations and NGOs with whom we will partner to implement the program. The idea was to get all the main stakeholders in one room for three days to align goals and objectives. This new phase of work will engage 5,500 fishers in 40 communities located in the RESEX and APAs marked in the map below. All these areas together encompass approximately 630,000 hectares of which 135,000 ha will be under community-based improved fisheries sustainable management. The first official training for the new Rare campaign managers as part of these new seven campaign sites is scheduled to happened on May 29 through June 9.

brazil site map

Inaugural Meeting of Rare Brazil’s Advisory Board
March 9, 2017

The inaugural advisory board meeting was attended by the President and board member of Rare Brazil Association, Georgia Pessoa, its executive director Luis Henrique de Lima, the operations manager Guillermo Murcia, the board member Márcia Cota, as well as the new advisory counselors: Bruno Mariani, President and CEO of Symbiosis Investimentos; Fábio Scarano, Executive Director of the Brazilian Foundation for Sustainable Development (FBDS), Pedro Genescá, attorney and founder of Carpenter and Genescá law firm, and Rosa Lemos de Sá, CEO of the Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (Funbio).

In this first meeting we aligned on Rare’s mission, goals and strategy in the country and discussed the updates of our campaign sites as well as what is ahead of us in 2017. 

We are very honored to be able to count on such renowned individuals with wide-ranging and complementary capacities, expertise and networks. They will bring a new lens into our programmatic work, but will also provide checks and balances of our local finances and help raise needed funds for the ambitious programmatic goals of Rare’s work in Brazil. Welcome Bruno, Fabio, Pedro and Rosa to the Rare family!

brazil advisory board

connect with the brazil team

Rua Visconde de Pirajá,177 – sala 801
Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil
Cep: 22410-001
Tel: +55 21 3268 3641
Fax: +55 21 3268 3641