PRÓ-SQUALUS developed the PROJETO CARCHARIAS as a way of acting in marine conservation, adopting the name of the most captured species in the South of Brazil, the mangrove Carcharias taurus. In March 2000 there was the first meeting between Mr. Adriano D. Joaquim, President of the Z-18 Fishermen's Colony, and I about how we could establish some regular shipments on the Passo de Torres (Santa Catarina - SC) vessels. On this occasion, I was with my team, we had come from Porto Alegre to make field, if possible, in the fishing vessels of that municipality. In fact, the conversation was, not by chance, because it was to find Mr. Adriano, because we had lost the boat that we would go to sea. When I started to explain what I really wanted to do, an action that contemplated, in addition to biological research, something that the community itself could absorb and improve its quality of life. That is, something related to Community Education and Quality of Life and Health along with Biological research. So from that moment, what would be a conversation, was practically all day, of how interesting and good for the fishing community to implement a project of this nature in this community. It was born to the partnership between the PRÓ-SQUALUS and the Fishermen's Colony Z-18 and the implementation of the PROJETO CARCHARIAS in the Torres Pass.
The PROJETO CARCHARIAS is currently a Program with several actions for the research and conservation of elasmobranchs, as well as other marine organisms on the south coast of Brazil, involving researchers and volunteers, as well as the fishing community of Passo de Torres (SC).
Both Mr. Adriano and I had the greater goal of transforming fishermen from fishermen in the preservation of the marine environment to assets that are conservative and maintain the quality of the marine environment. The Program aims to contribute to efforts to preserve the marine organisms of the southern coast from a better understanding of the anguish and needs of fishermen and the resident population. Identify and conserve the biodiversity of the elasmobranchs that are captured by the Torres de Torres fishing fleet and the interaction it has with other marine organisms.
The community of Passo de Torres, located at the southern end of Santa Catarina, has its economy based on fishing activity. The socioeconomic issue is vital to the quality of life of the population. Also, because it is observed that the fishing activity is decreasing considerably and, also, constantly, in recent years. This is due to the collapse of different populations of target species, such as cane, mullet, anchovy, croaker and other important species in the local economy. This decrease is visible in practically all populations of marine species that are currently commercialized.
The functional structure of the PROJETO CARCHARIAS is focused on the Mission of the PRÓ-SQUALUS: Education, Quality of Life and Health of the Fishermen's Community and Biological Research. This is characterized as a pyramid, where the Education Section and the Health and Quality of Life Section are positioned at the base and the Biological Research Section at the top. The Program is based on this configuration, since we believe from its conception that conservation is fluent as long as there is Education and Health for the community involved.