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Acta Amazonica

versão impressa ISSN 0044-5967


BATISTA, Vandick da Silva  e  FREITAS, Venâncio Silva. Discards in the purse seine fishery in the lower Solimões river, Central Amazon. Acta Amaz. [online]. 2003, vol.33, n.1, pp.127-143. ISSN 0044-5967.

Discarding part of the catch is a common practice in worldwide fisheries. The make-up of the discards needs to be studied to evaluate the impact on the fishery as well as to correct data for stock assessment. It is also useful for the identification of commercially valuable species. 84 sets from 18 vessels in Tefé's purse seine fleet were observed over nine trips to the Lower Solimões River during the first semester of 1997. A questionnaire was filled out on board with the following information: date, hour of set, climate, name of the boat and skipper, fishing spot, gear used, size and mesh of the net, retained and discarded catch per species. A variation in the percentage of discards was observed over the months. Discards were higher than 20% until February, and from May onwards, but were less in March and April. Species were identified according to the following grouping: not discarded; occasionally discarded; and, always discarded. The mean fork length of discards was lower than that of retained fish for the following species: apapá; aracu; mapará; pacu; and, peixe-cachorro. However, there but was no significant difference in the sizes of discarded and retained aracu, branquinha, cubiu and sardinha. The fishermen had developed a net to select larger fish, the "escolhedeira", which allowed smaller fish to escape alive. Curimatã, matrinchã, pescada, cará and tucunaré were not discarded due to wide acceptance of these products in the local markets. Some discarded species like apapá, cubiu and branquinha that were often present in the catch have potential for alternative uses.

Palavras-chave : fish; fisheries; Amazon; discards; Solimões river.

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