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From the fisherman to the fish: political ecology of pirarucu management in the middle Solimões River

Grant number: 16/10648-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2016
Effective date (End): July 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology - Rural Anthropology
Principal researcher:Mauro William Barbosa de Almeida
Grantee:José Cândido Lopes Ferreira
Home Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):19/06547-8 - Comparative study on wildlife and fisheries management "when worlds meet", BE.EP.DR


The main purpose of this project is to formulate an anthropological understanding of the processes in which different regimes of practices and knowledge interact in nature conservancy projects, from the study of the pirarucu management in the middle Solimões floodplain. Pirarucu (Arapaima gigas) management systems were developed as a species conservation strategy as well as an income generation to fishermen families. In a management system, pirarucus, fishermen, scientists and technical extensionists interact in an amazon floodplain environment. Different perspectives take part in this activity, which turns the pirarucu management into an interface congregating several assumptions and actions about our conception of "nature". From an ethnography of the technical processes associated to the pirarucu fishery, an ethnography of the speeches and practices of the scientists, extensionists and fishermen is proposed. Part of this ethnography will be directed to the pirarucu culture, trying to explore the point of view of the fish, its habits, movements and history. To make this possible, two main sources will be juxtaposed: the speech-practice of the natural science researches about the species, and the speech-practice elaborated by the ribeirinhos, which will be compared with the selected bibliography. The ethnography of the management will be oriented by the political ecology in order to develop a description that focuses on the relationship between the agents, targeting in an epistemological multiplicity able to create an embracing description, avoiding polarizations and understanding the multiple levels of relations that compose a sustainable development policy, which ties the amazon fauna to the State conservation policies.

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