Interview with Deputy Director Toby McGrath: Conference on Lower Amazon Fisheries

Interview with Deputy Director Toby McGrath during the workshop: Fisheries Development on the Lower Amazon Floodplain, Oct. 14-15, 2015. The interviewer asks for his reflections on the conference, and expectations for moving forward.

  • – The event was a great success, with large participation from fishers, which is evidence of their concerns with trends and recent government actions.
  • – The situation is becoming critical, and steps need to be taken to ensure sustainability of the fishery and local livelihoods.
  • – Participants will have to wait and see what happens to the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (MPA), which was recently dissolved. The MPA was responsible for the co-management of fisheries, but abandoned the process.
  • – The process of creating Agro-extractive Settlement Reserves (PAEs) in the floodplain needs to be concluded. The event brought together key government actors for this process.
  • – Groups are mobilizing to revoke the recent government mandate suspending off-season unemployment benefits (“seguro defeso” in Portuguese), which they consider the last measure with any impact on conserving fisheries. It must be maintained.