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A resource management scenario for traditional and scientific management of pink shrimp (Farfantepenaeus paulensis) in the Patos Lagoon estuary (RS), Brazil

Gustavo Goulart Moreira Moura1*, Daniela Coswig Kalikoski2 and Antonio Carlos Sant’Ana Diegues3

Author Affiliations

1 Environmental Sciences at University of São Paulo (PROCAM/USP), Fishing Research Group lidership (GPP) of the Núcleo de Pesquisa e Apoio a Populações de Áreas Úmidas do Brasil (NUPAUB-USP). Rua do Anfiteatro, nº 181, Colméias - Favo 6, Cidade Universitária - CEP, 05508-060, São Paulo, SP, Brazil

2 Natural Resources Management at University of Manitoba and Former Professor in Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG), Rio Grande, Brazil

3 Environmental Sciences at University of São Paulo (PROCAM-USP) and scientific coordinator of the Núcleo de Pesquisa e Apoio a Populações de Áreas Úmidas do Brasil (NUPAUB-USP), Sao Paulo, Brazil

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Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2013, 9:6  doi:10.1186/1746-4269-9-6

Published: 11 January 2013



This article aims to discuss the incorporation of traditional time in the construction of a management scenario for pink shrimp in the Patos Lagoon estuary (RS), Brazil. To meet this objective, two procedures have been adopted; one at a conceptual level and another at a methodological level. At the conceptual level, the concept of traditional time as a form of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) was adopted.


At the methodological level, we conduct a wide literature review of the scientific knowledge (SK) that guides recommendations for pink shrimp management by restricting the fishing season in the Patos Lagoon estuary; in addition, we review the ethno-scientific literature which describes traditional calendars as a management base for artisanal fishers in the Patos Lagoon estuary.


Results demonstrate that TEK and SK describe similar estuarine biological processes, but are incommensurable at a resource management level. On the other hand, the construction of a “management scenario” for pink shrimp is possible through the development of “criteria for hierarchies of validity” which arise from a productive dialog between SK and TEK.


The commensurable and the incommensurable levels reveal different basis of time-space perceptions between traditional ecological knowledge and scientific knowledge. Despite incommensurability at the management level, it is possible to establish guidelines for the construction of “management scenarios” and to support a co-management process.

Traditional ecological knowledge; Traditional natural resource management systems; Modern science-based resource management; Traditional time; Incommensurability; Artisanal fishery; Patos Lagoon estuary