Local Ecological Knowledge of the Whitemouth Croaker, Micropologias furneri among the Caiçaras in the Sepetiba Bay, SE Brazil

  • Claudio Morado Laboratório de Ecologia de Peixes, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, km 7, BR 465, 23890-000, Seropédica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Magda Tubino Laboratório de Ecologia de Peixes, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, km 7, BR 465, 23890-000, Seropédica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Benjamin Pinto Departamento de Teoria e Planejamento do Ensino, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Seropédica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Francisco G. Araújo Departamento de Teoria e Planejamento do Ensino, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Seropédica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Keywords: Fish biology, Artisanal fisheries, Parasites, Ethnoichthyology


Local Ecological Knowledge of artisanal fishers (Caiçaras) was employed to investigate various biological aspects of the Whitemouth croaker (Micropogonias furnieri) in the Sepetiba Bay, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. This included migration patterns, reproduction, feeding habits, and interactions such as parasitism. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 40 fishers in two communities using the “snowball” technique. It was found that the fisher’s information coincides with the academic literature for some aspects of the biology and ecology of the species. Furthermore, the fishers provided descriptions of novel patterns, which contributed to a deeper understanding of the species' natural history. These included observations of reproduction occurring almost throughout the entire year, the influence of east and north winds on the species' entry into the bay, interactions with marine catfish (Ariidae), and notable records of the isopod Cymothoidae as an important parasite of the Whitemouth croaker. This study contributes new insights to the ecological understanding of this fish species, which holds significant socio-environmental importance. It also documents changes in the livelihoods of artisanal Caiçaras communities resulting from the increasing anthropogenic activities in the region. Finally, it highlights the species' significance in terms of its sale and consumption within these communities, owing to its relative abundance in the area, despite the environmental impacts.


Albuquerque, U. P., R. F. P. de Lucena, and E. M. F. L. Neto. 2014. Selection of Research Participants. In Methods and Techniques in Ethnobiology and Ethnoecology, edited by U. P. Albuquerque, L. Cruz da Cunha, R. F. P. de Lucena, and R. Alves. Humana Press, New York. DOI:10.1007/978-1-4614-8636-7_1.

Albuquerque, U. P., D. Ludwig, I. S. Feitosa, J. M. B. Moura, P. H. S. Gonçalves, R. H. Silva, T. C. Silva, T. Gonçalves-Souza, and W. S. F. Ferreira Junior. 2020. A Reappraisal of the Predictive Power of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Ecology and Conservation. SSRN. DOI:10.2139/ssm.3556479.

Araújo, F. G., F. L. Rodrigues, T. P. Teixeira-Neves, J. P. Vieira, M. C. C. Azevedo, A. P. P. Guedes, A. M. Garcia, and A. L. M. Pessanha. 2018. Regional Patterns in Species Richness and Taxonomic Diversity of the Nearshore Fish Community in the Brazilian Coast. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 208:9–22. DOI:10.1016/j.ecss.2018.04.027.

Araujo, F. G., S. M. Pinto, L. M. Neves, and M. C. C. Azevedo. 2016. Inter-Annual Changes in Fish Communities of a Tropical Bay in Southeastern Brazil: What Can be Inferred from Anthropogenic Activities? Marine Pollution Bulletin 114:102–113. DOI:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.08.063.

Begossi, A. 1996. Fishing Activities and Strategies at Búzios Island (Brasil). In Proceedings of the World Fisheries Congress, edited by R. M. Meyer, C. Zhang, M. L. Windsor, B. J. McCay, L. J. Hushak, and R. M. Muth, pp. 125–141. Oxford and IBH Publishing, Calcutta.

Begossi, A. 2006. The Ethnoecology of Caiçara Metapopulations (Atlantic Forest, Brazil): Ecological Concepts and Questions. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2:40. DOI:10.1186/1746-4269-2-40.

Begossi, A. 2014. Ecological, Cultural, and Economic Approaches to Managing Artisanal Fisheries. Environment, Development and Sustainability 16:5–34. DOI:10.1007/s10668-013-9471-z.

Begossi, A., S. Salivonchyk, G. Hallwass, N. Hanazaki, P. F. M. Lopes, and R. A. M. Silvano. 2017. Threatened Fish and Fishers along the Brazilian Atlantic Forest Coast. Ambio 46:907–914. DOI:10.1007/s13280-017-0931-9.

Costa, M. R., and F. G. Araújo. 2003. Use of a Tropical Bay in Southeastern Brazil by Juvenile and Subadult Micropogonias furnieri (Perciformes. Sciaenidae). ICES Journal of Marine Science 60:268–277. DOI:10.1016/S1054-3139(02)00272-2.

Cousseau, M. B., and R. G. Perrota. 2013. Peces Marinos de Argentina: Biología, Distribución, Pesca, 4rd edition. INIDEP, Mar del Plata, Argentina.

Federation Institute of Fisheries of the State of Rio de Janeiro (FIPERJ). 2020. Marine Fishing: Fishing in the state of Rio de Janeiro. FIPERJ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Available at: http://www.fiperj.rj.gov.br/index.php/main/pesca. Accessed on July 17, 2021.

Fogliarini, C., C. E. L. Ferreira, J. Bornholdt, M. Barbosa, V. Giglio, and M. Bender. 2021. Telling the Same Story: Fishers and Landing Data Reveal Changes in Fisheries on the Southeastern Brazilian Coast. Plos One 16:e0252391. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0252391.

Franco, T. P., C. Q. Albuquerque, R. S. Santos, T. D. Saint’ Pierre, and F. G. Araújo. 2019. Leave Forever or Return Home? The Case of the Whitemouth Croaker Micropogonias furnieri in Coastal Systems of Southeastern Brazil Indicated by Otolith Microchemistry. Marine Environmental Research 144:28–35. DOI:10.1016/j.marenvres.2018.11.015.

Giraldi, M., and N. Hanazaki. 2010. Uso e Eonhecimento Tradicional de Plantas Medicinais no Sertão do Ribeirão, Florianópolis, SC, Brasil. Acta Botânica Brasilica 24:395–406. DOI:10.1590/S0102-33062010000200010.

Haimovici, M., and L. G. Cardoso. 2016. Long-Term Changes in the Fisheries in the Patos Lagoon Estuary and Adjacent Coastal Waters in Southern Brazil. Marine Biology Research 13:135–150. DOI:10.1080/17451000.2016.1228978.

Haimovici, M., and E. G. Reis. 1984. Determinação de Idade e Crescimento da Castanha Umbrina canosai, (Pisces, Sciaenidae) do Sul do Brasil. Atlântica 7:25–46.

Herbst, D. F., and N. Hanazaki. 2014. Local Ecological Knowledge of Fishers about the Life Cycle and Temporal Patterns in the Migration of Mullet (Mugil liza) in Southern Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology 12:879–890. DOI:10.1590/1982-0224-20130156.

Huntington, H. P. 2000. Using Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Science: Methods and Applications. Ecological Applications 10:1270–1274. DOI:10.1890/1051-0761(2000)010[1270:UTEKIS]2.0.CO;2.

Jaureguizar, A., R. Menni, R. Guerrero, and C. Lasta. 2004. Environmental Factors Structuring Fish Communities of the Río de la Plata Estuary. Fisheries Research 66:195–211. DOI:10.1016/S0165-7836(03)00200-5.

Kami, M. T. M., L. M. Larocca, M. M. N. Chaves, I. M. V. Lowen, V. M. P. Souza, and D. Y. N. Goto. 2016. Working in the Street Clinic: Use of IRAMUTEQ Software on the Support of Qualitative Research. Escola Anna Nery 20:e20160069.

Kjerfve, B., G. T. M. Dias, A. Filippo, and M. C. Geraldes. 2021. Oceanographic and Environmental Characteristics of a Coupled Coastal Bay System: Baía de Ilha Grande-Baía de Sepetiba, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Regional Studies in Marine Science 41:101594. DOI:10.1016/j.rsma.2020.101594.

Luque, J. L., A. S. Cordeiro, and M. E. Oliva. 2010. Metazoan Parasites as Biological Tags for Stock Discrimination of Whitemouth Croaker Micropogonias furnieri from South-Western Atlantic Ocean Waters. Journal of Fish Biology 76:591–600. DOI:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2009.02515.x.

Maciel, A. C. 2011. Onde Deixei Meu Coração: A História dos Últimos Caiçaras da Ilha Grande. Alba Costa Maciel, Hilda Maria Souza, Neuseli Cardoso. Eco Editora Ilha Grande, Ilha Grande.

Marcogliese, D. J. 2002. Food Webs and the Transmission of Parasites to Marine Fish. Parasitology 124:83–99. DOI:10.1017/S003118200200149X.

Marconi, M. A, and E. M. Lakatos. 2010. Metodologia científica. Atlas, São Paulo, Brazil.

Martins, M. M., H. S. Mendonça, S. S. Rodrigues, and F. G. Araújo. 2017. Trophic Ecology of Two Syntopic Sciaenid Species Micropogonias furnieri (Desmarest, 1823) and Ctenosciaena gracilicirrhus (Metzelaar, 1919) in a Tropical Bay in South-Eastern Brazil. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 33:740–745. DOI:10.1111/jai.13360.

Morado, C. N., M. F. A. Tubino, B. C. T. Pinto, and F. G. Araújo. 2023. Mudanças Antropogênicas Percebidas por Pescadores Artesanais Influenciando a Ictiofauna da Baía de Sepetiba, Sudeste do Brasil. Ciência Brasileira: Múltiplos Olhares. Jornalismo, Mída, Design e Comunicação, Brazil.

Nogara, P. 2003. Mamanguá: Berçário Marinho e Reduto Tradicional De Caiçaras. Paraty Brazil Publicações, São Paulo.

Ottoni, A. B. 2018. Gestão com Sustentabilidade Ambiental para a Bacia Hidrográfica da Baía de Sepetiba. In: Baía de Sepetiba: Riscos à Natureza e aos Coletivos Humanos na Metrópole do Rio de Janeiro: Desafios para a Avaliação Socioambiental, edited by C. A. da Silva and S. Gardenghi Suiama, pp. 127–147. Letra Capital, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Peñaherrera-Palma, C., I. V. Putten, Y. V. Karpievitch, S. Frusher, Y. Llerena-Martillo, A. R. Hearn, and J. M. Semmens. 2018. Evaluating Abundance Trends of Iconic Species using Local Ecological Knowledge. Biological Conservation 225:197–207. DOI:10.1016/j.biocon.2018.07.004.

Ramires, M., S. M. G. Molina, and N. Hanazaki. 2007. Etnoecologia Caiçara: O Conhecimento dos Pescadores Artesanais sobre Aspectos Ecológicos da Pesca. Biotemas 20:101–113. DOI:10.5007/%25x.

Ratinaud, P. 2009. Interface de R pour les Analyses Multidimensionnelles de Textes et de Questionnaires (IRAMUTEQ). LERASS, Toulouse. Available at: http://www.iramuteq.org/. Accessed on September 3, 2020.

Reyes-García, V., V. Vadez, T. Huanca, W. R. Leonard, and T. Mcdade. 2007. Economic Development and Local Ecological Knowledge: A Deadlock? Quantitative Research from a Native Amazonian Society. Human Ecology 35:371–377. DOI:10.1007/s10745-006-9069-2.

Santos, B. S., and M. P. Meneses. Epistemologias do Sul (Orgs). 2009. Epistemologias do Sul. Coimbra: Edições Almedina, A. S. Available at: https://www.icict.fiocruz.br/sites/www.icict.fiocruz.br/files/Epistemologias%20do%20Sul.pdf. Accessed on May 27, 2020.

Shagrir, L. 2017. Journey to Ethnographic Research. Springer International Publishing, Cham, Switzerland. DOI:10.1007/978-3-319-47112-9.

Silva, C. A., and S. G. Suiama. 2018. Baía de Sepetiba: Riscos à Natureza e aos Cletivos Humanos na Metrópole do Rio de Janeiro: Desafios para a Avaliação Socioambiental, 1st edition. Letra Capital, Rio de Janeiro.

Silvano, R. A. M., and A. Begossi. 2012. Fishermen’s Local Ecological Knowledge on Southeastern Brazilian Coastal Fishes: Contributions to Research, Conservation, and Management. Neotropical Ichthyology 10:133–47. DOI: 10.1590/S1679-62252012000100013.

Vazzoler, A. E. A. M. 1991. Síntese de Conhecimentos Sobre a Biologia da Corvina, Micropogonias furnieri (Desmarest, 1823), da Costa do Brasil. Atlântica 13:55–74.

Vizziano, D., F. Forni, G. Saona, and W. Norbis. 2002. Reproduction of Micropogonias funieri in a Shallow Temperate Coastal Lagoon in the Southern Atlantic. Journal of Fish Biology 61:196–206. DOI:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2002.tb01771.x.

Figure 4 The photograph captured by Claudio Nona Morado (2019) showcases a Whitemouth croaker caught by artisanal fishers from Sepetiba Bay.
How to Cite
Morado, C. N., Andrade-Tubino, M. F. de, Pinto, B. C. T., & Araújo, F. G. (2024). Local Ecological Knowledge of the Whitemouth Croaker, Micropologias furneri among the Caiçaras in the Sepetiba Bay, SE Brazil. Ethnobiology Letters, 15(1), 1-15. https://doi.org/10.14237/ebl.15.1.2024.1857
Data, Methods & Taxonomies