Ichthyofauna, fish supply and fishermen activities on the mid-Tocantins River, Maranhão State, Brazil

Ictiofauna, recursos pesqueiros e a atividade da pesca no médio Rio Tocantins no Estado do Maranhão, Brasil

This article concerns an inventory of the ichthyofauna from the main channel of the mid-Tocantins River and studies on fisheries in this region including an evaluation of activities from Colônia de Pesca Z-35 of Estreito and Carolina in Tocantins and Maranhão States, Brazil, during 1999 and 2000. This study includes taxonomy and fishery data obtained from field collections and from interviews with the fishermen, carried out in March and July of 2001. The systematic record and fishery data were obtained from the most common species of the ichthyofauna of the mid-Tocantins River. A critical examination of fish resources from this area allows us to conclude that the large commercial species have decreased in number and are qualitatively reduced in that area of Tocantins. This fact may be a result of breaking the main channel of Tocantins, first by the hydroelectric power dam of Tucurui, twenty years ago, followed by the formation of the hydroelectric reservoirs of Lageado, Peixe Angical and Serra da Mesa, that transformed the main channel of Tocantins into a successive cascade of reservoirs. Those events may perhaps modify the profile of the fish community in that area. The obtained data also permit an examination of fisheries in the area, providing an appraisal on forthcoming problems that will be faced by fishermen of Colônia de Pesca Z-35.

neotropical; freshwater fishes; fishery and fishermen; Tocantins; Maranhão; Brazil


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