The Brazilian North coast is one of the world’s most important shrimp fishery grounds, with a total area of approximately 223,000 km2. However, the available data on the diversity of fish caught by the region’s industrial trawler fleet are limited to the commercially-valuable species. This lacuna in the data on the region’s marine fish fauna is worrying, both for the management of stocks and the conservation of the local biodiversity. The present study was based on a comprehensive inventory of the teleost fishes captured by the industrial outrigger trawling operations off the North coast of Brazil. This inventory recorded 201 species belonging to 64 families and 20 orders, and revealed a unique fauna, characterized by 17 endemic species, and a mixture of estuarine-dependent and marine species, mainly associated with coral reefs. The Kernel density analysis indicated that the industrial trawling fleet operates within an important ecotone, which encompasses the transition zones of different fish communities found off the Brazilian North coast.
Biodiversity; Bycatch; Fishes discarded; Inventory; Marine fish; Outrigger trawling