Attitudes and local ecological knowledge of experts fishermen in relation to conservation and bycatch of sea turtles (reptilian: testudines), Southern Bahia, Brazil
Heitor de Oliveira Braga and Alexandre Schiavetti
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2013, 9:15, doi:10.1186/1746-4269-9-15

This study investigates fishermen’s ecological knowledge about sea turtles and attitudes towards the conservation and bycatch in Ilhéus, Southern Bahia, Brazil. Researchers performed a series of semi-structured interviews with fishermen, consisting of questions relating to the fishermen’s profile, structure and work equipment, the local ecological knowledge of fishermen about sea turtles and bycatch, a projective test, attitudes towards turtle conservation and beliefs and taboos regarding turtles. Correlation analyses were made between indicators of knowledge and attitude as well as the relationship between education level and knowledge and attitudes. Potential areas of spawning were reported and methods for identifying the animal, behavior and popular names were described by fishermen. Life history, habitat, specific and exogenous taboos, beliefs and the use of hawksbill turtle to make glasses and other handcrafts are also reported in the study. The researchers concluded that monitoring of spawning areas, preservation of traditional practices, strategies to moderate the use of fishery resources and the local ecological knowledge/attitudes can provide data to improve the conservation practices and management of sea turtles. Read the article …