Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 223–234 | Cite as

Climate change can reduce shrimp catches in equatorial Brazil

  • Priscila F. M. LopesEmail author
  • Maria Grazia Pennino
  • Fúlvio Freire
Original Article


Shrimps are an important and valuable fishing resource, being increasingly exploited worldwide, demanding appropriate management. However, factors such as how shrimps are affected by environmental variables and how such variables are likely to change under a climate change scenario are still poorly known. We used a Brazilian database with 10 years of shrimp catch and effort data, from 20 different small-scale equatorial fishing ports, to test how shrimp fishing productivity is affected by environmental (sea surface temperature (SST), wind, precipitation, and cloudiness), economic (ex-vessel price), spatial (fishing port), and temporal factors (year and month). The results showed that better productivities are reached at higher SST (to a limit 26 °C) and precipitation. Time (year) and space (different fishing villages showed different fishing success) also affected the fishing success. Considering that both temperature and precipitation were important determinants of shrimp productivity, we estimated how such productivity would be affected by climate change. Our results suggest that these fisheries could collapse in a warmer and drier future, which is a possible scenario for the region. Overall, a better understanding of regional shrimp fisheries could permit the development of tailor-made management measures. Besides, this study also shows how an economically important invertebrate stock is sensitive to climate change, which is a warning signal to developing countries, where there is a significant parcel of its population directly dependent on fishery exploitation.


Low trophic level species Small-scale fisheries Fishery economics Brazilian northeast 



We thank the fishers from Baía Formosa for helping us in the trawling sampling and for sharing with us their shrimp grounds. We also thank Rayssa Melo for organizing the data and Ludmila Damásio for making the map. Finally, we thank CNPq/MPA for the grant 407046/2012-7. Both PFML and FF thank CNPq for a productivity grant.

Supplementary material

10113_2017_1203_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Figure S1 (DOCX 15 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Priscila F. M. Lopes
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Maria Grazia Pennino
    • 1
    • 3
  • Fúlvio Freire
    • 4
  1. 1.Fisheries Ecology, Management and Economics Unit (FEME)NatalBrazil
  2. 2.Department of EcologyFederal University of Rio Grande do NorteNatalBrazil
  3. 3.Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Centro Oceanográfico de MurciaMurciaSpain
  4. 4.Department of Botany and ZoologyFederal University of Rio Grande do NorteNatalBrazil

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