de Transposição de Peixes/Coleção de Peixes,
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, 31270-901,
Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.
*Corresponding author. E-mail: didario@
1. Brazil, Ministério do Meio Ambiente. Portarias Nos. 443,
444, 445, de 17 de Dezembro de 2014, Diário Oficial da
União–Seção 1, 245, 110 (18 December 2014);
2. B. Soares-Filho et al., Science 344, 363 (2014).
3. J. Ferreira et al ., Science 346, 706 (2014).
4. C. T. Elfes et al., PLOS ONE 9, e92589 (2014).
Complex ecology of
IN THE POLICY Forum “Rethinking China’s
new great wall” (21 November 2014,
p. 912), Z. Ma et al. demonstrated that
coastal land reclamation and infrastructure construction are destroying coastal
wetlands and threatening biodiversity.
However, the ecological impacts of
the “new Great Wall” are complex and
unpredictable. With the construction of
seawalls, these hard-substrate structures
become “stepping stones” for rocky shore
organisms (1, 2) and promote gene flow
between populations in northern and
southern China. Some species can rapidly
occupy the “new Great Wall” and thereby
extend their biogeographic ranges.
Substrate availability is one of the
major factors affecting distribution of
rocky intertidal species along the Chinese
coastline, and there is a phylogeographic
barrier to movement of rocky intertidal
species at the Yangtze River estuary (3).
The distribution and diversity of rocky
intertidal macrobenthos (invertebrates
that live on the ocean floor) have been
investigated since July 2013 on the artificial seawalls along the Jangsu coastline,
where a phylogeographic barrier for these
species occurred before construction of
large-scale artificial seawalls (4). Our
preliminary observations suggest that
biodiversity on the new Great Wall is
showing a tendency to increase.
Xiong-Wei Huang, Wei Wang,
State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental
Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China.
*Corresponding author. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. L. Airoldi et al ., Coast. Eng. 52, 10 (2005).
2. L. B. Firth et al., Divers. Distrib. 19, 10 (2013).
3. Y. Dong et al ., PLOS One , e36178 (2012).
4. Y. Dong et al ., World Conference on Marine Biodiversity,
Qingdao, China (2014).
aquatic fauna at increased risk, the industrial fisheries sector should work with
government agencies and the ministries
of the Environment and Fisheries and
Aquaculture to implement management
strategies that have been historically lacking in Brazil (4). A permanent system to
evaluate and manage stock status would
eventually result in the downgrading of the
extinction risk of legally protected species.
Ideally, it would also prevent the overex-ploitation of fishing stocks that now seem
to be at sustainable levels.
Fabio Di Dario,1 Carlos B. M. Alves,2
Harry Boos,3 Flávia L. Frédou,4 Rosangela
P. T. Lessa,4 Michael M. Mincarone,1
Marcelo A. A. Pinheiro,5 Carla N. M. Polaz,6
Roberto E. Reis,7 Luiz A. Rocha,8 Francisco
M. Santana,9 Roberta A. Santos,3 Sonia B.
Santos,10 Marcelo Vianna,11 Fábio Vieira12
1Núcleo em Ecologia e Desenvolvimento
Manuelzão, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais,
do Sudeste e Sul, Instituto Chico Mendes de
Conservação da Biodiversidade, 88301-700, Itajaí,
SC, Brazil. 4Departamento de Pesca e Aquicultura,
Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco,
52171-900, Recife, PE, Brazil. 5UNESP, Campus
Experimental do Litoral Paulista (CLP), Group of
São Vicente, SP, Brazil. 6Centro Nacional de Pesquisa
e Conservação de Peixes Continentais, Instituto
Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade,
13630-000, Pirassununga, SP, Brazil. 7PUCRS,
Faculdade de Biociências, Laboratory of Vertebrate
Systematics, 90619-900, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.
8Institute of Biodiversity Science and Sustainability,
California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA
94118, USA. 9Unidade Acadêmica de Serra Talhada,
Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, 56903-
970, Serra Talhada, PE, Brazil. 10Departamento de
Zoologia, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro,
bl. A. 21941-617, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil. 12Centro
Edited by Jennifer Sills
A better way forward
for Brazil’s fisheries
IN DECEMBER 2014, the Brazilian Minister
of the Environment released the new
national red lists enumerating 2113 plants
and 1173 animals threatened with extinction (1). Of the 475 aquatic species on the
list, 83 are commercially exploited by fisheries, mainly as by-catch. The industrial
fisheries sector is now using its political
influence to persuade the government to
change the contents of the list of aquatic
animals or revoke it entirely. This would
be an enormous setback for the conservation of Brazil’s aquatic fauna. The situation
is reminiscent of that of the agribusiness
lobby weakening the new Forest Code, and
other recent political maneuvers that could
lead to the opening of mining concessions
in strictly protected areas (2, 3).
The effect of the new lists on industrial
fisheries is actually less disruptive than
what is being purported. The ordinance
that deals specifically with threatened
aquatic animals provides for continued
capture and trade of fishes classified as
Vulnerable—the category in which most
species of commercial interest fall—if they
are subject to specific management plans
and their fishery is regulated by federal
agencies. Annual updates to the list based
on new or revised information are also
foreseen in the ordinance.
Therefore, instead of putting Brazil’s
In January 2015, fshing boats blocked the passage of a
transatlantic cruise ship at the port of Itajaí, Santa Catarina,
to protest the publication of the new red lists.