Prainha do Canto Verde is a small fishing village on the north east coast of Ceara, Brazil. The majority of the 200 families in Prainha depend on fishing for their livlehoods, specifically the spiny rock lobster (P. Argus), which is under threat due to predatory fishing and lack of sustainable management. The fishermen catch a variety of fish species using hand lines and nets, Bonito, Sardines, Snapper, King Mackerel and Jacks and Tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) known in Brazil as Cumuripim
Tarpon migrate down the coast, usually from September through to January, though over the last few years we have seen them arriving earlier. The men use 100lb hand held line to fish for these magnificant creatures and fish of between 40 and 80 kilos are regularly caught (fish are only ever weighed as saleable meat, once they have been cleaned, gutted and head removed). It is truly impressive to see a man bring in one of these huge fish, with nothing more than the line wrapped round their hand. Oh to catch a big fish
The artisanal fishers use traditional fishing practises to fish the shallow coastal waters of the continental shelf, using the traditional sail craft called a Jangada, (there are also a few catamarans in use). The jangada is based on a native indian raft that the portuguese found when they first arrived in Brazil, there have been some slight modifications but the craft basically remains the same.
The community of Prainha has a national and international reputation for mobilising action against land speculation and predatory lobster fishing, while promoting legal and responsible fishing techniques and practices. In 2009 the area of Prainha do Canto Verde was declared an Extractive Reserve and Marine Protected Area.
Until relatively recently in Prainha’s history, tourism has played only a very small role in the village finances but the decline in lobster catches means that tourism is an increasingly important source of income. Prainha is part of TUCUM, the Network of Community-based Tourism of Ceará, made up of 11 communities and two Associations in Fortaleza and receives about 1000 visitors a year.