Ethnoichthyological Study of Biological Characteristics and Ecology (Salminus brasiliensis: Teleostei/Characiform): Importance, Status and Conservation Challenges in the Region of Mato Grosso, Brazil

Main Article Content

Elisangela Santana de Oliveira Dantas
Diniz Pereira Leite Júnior


Introduction: Salminus is a genus of ichthyofauna currently constituted by five species of migratory neotropical fish, predators, which are important in commercial, ecological and sport fishing.

Aims: The article reflects the conception of fishermen about the ecological interrelationships of ichthyofauna, the relationship with sport fishing, aspects of trophic interactions among fish, the use of habitats aimed at feeding or reproduction and relations with fishing activity.

Methodology: Study carried out in the state of Mato Grosso, central region of Brazil. 122 fishing professionals and artisanal fishermen were interviewed. The testimonies were obtained through phonographic interviews, carried out during visits in temperate sport fishing from 2018 to 2020, verifying questions related to fishing and the study specimen S. brasiliensis.

Results: Among the interviewees, 37 were sport fishermen (30.3%), 22 artisanal fishermen (18.1%) and 63 guide fishermen (51.6%). The interviewees reported several situations and approaches on the problems generated by sport fishing in the State. The results were consistent with the scientific literature and revealed detailed knowledge about the survival strategies of S. brasiliensis. The answers revealed the fishermen's observations on the decrease in fishing resources, the scarcity of species and the conflicts related to sport fishing, making it necessary to look for the best ways of recovering and conserving native species and monitoring in the surveyed places.

Conclusion: S. brasiliensis is an example of the ichthyofauna that is much sought after by sport fishing. The interviewees demonstrated important perceptions of the changes that are occurring in the rivers of Mato Grosso and it was found that it is necessary to intensify studies looking for ways to recover and conserve the native ichthyofauna in the region. The results obtained aim to promote social contributions and partnerships with professional and artisanal fishermen, encouraged to achieve a better harmony between fishing and nature, creating actions that can be extended to indigenous, quilombola and riverside peoples.

Biodiversity, sport fishing, animal welfare, conservation, fresh water.

Article Details

How to Cite
Dantas, E. S. de O., & Júnior, D. P. L. (2021). Ethnoichthyological Study of Biological Characteristics and Ecology (Salminus brasiliensis: Teleostei/Characiform): Importance, Status and Conservation Challenges in the Region of Mato Grosso, Brazil. Asian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Research, 10(4), 9-34.
Original Research Article


Reis RE, Albert JS, Di Dario F, Mincarone MM, Petry P, Rocha LA. Fish biodiversity and conservation in South America. J Fish Biol. 2016;89(1):12-47. Available:https://doi:10.1111/jfb.13016

Dagosta FCP, Pinna M. The fisches of the Amazon: Distribution and Biogeographical Patterns, with a comprehensive list of species. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 2019;431:163. Available:

Gandini CV, Loures RC. Energy Companh of Minas Gerais. Ichthyofauna management and conservation topics for the Electric sector. Belo Horizonte: Cemig, 1st. Ed. 2015;243. Access in 29 Set 2020.

Available: e_o_Futuro/sustentabilidade/nossos_programas/ambientais/peixe_vivo/Documents/PeD/PeD-345/Produção%20Científica/ GANDINI%20et%20al.%20-%20Topicos% 20de%20manejo%20e%20conservação%20da%20ictiofauna%20para.pdf.

Rodríguez-Olarte D, Taphorn DC. Abundance, feeding and reproduction of 10 Salminus sp. (Pisces: Characidae) from mountain streams of the Andean piedmont in Venezuela. Neotropical Ichthyology. 2006;4:73-80. Available:

Zaniboni-Filho E, Ribolli J, Hermes-Silva S, Nuñer AP. Wide reproductive period of a long-distance migratory fish in a subtropical river, Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology. 2017;15(1). Available:

Markun P. The Incredible Trajectory of Don Alvár Nuñes Cabeza de vaca across the Americas and unpublished revelations about his trial. Companhia das Letras. 2009;213.

Nelson JS, Grande TC, Wilson MVH. Fishes of the World. John Wiley & Sons, Inc 2006; 5th Ed. 2006;752. Access in 29 Sep 2020. Availabre:

Lehmann PA, Montoya-López AF, Botero M. Peixes ameaçados do mundo: “Salminus affinis” Steindachner, 1880 (Characidae). Environ Biol Fish. 2009;85:285–286. Available:https://doi10.1007/s10641-009-9494-3

Steindachner F. Zür Fisch-Fauna des Cauca und der Flüsse bei Guayaquil. Denkschriften der Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Classe der Akademie der Wissenchaften. 1880;42(1-9):55-104.

Crescêncio R. Brazilian ichthyofauna and its potential for creation. In: Baldisserotto B. & Gomes L. C. Native species for fish farming in Brazil, Editora UFSM, Santa Maria. 2005;23-33.

Villares Júnior GA, Goitein R. Variations of Salminus hilarii diet (Ostariophysi, Characidae): seasonal and ontogenetic effects. Braz J Biol. 2015; 75:574-580. Available:

Carolsfeld J, Harvey B, Ross C, Baer A(Eds.). Migratory fishes of South America: biology, fisheries and conservation status. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank, Washington, DC, EUA. 2003;372.

Lima FCT, Britski HA. Salminus franciscanus, a new species from the rio São Francisco basin, Brazil (Ostariophysi: Characiformes: Characidae). Neotropical Ichthyology. 2007;5(3):237:244. Available:

Lima FCT. Taxonomic review and phylogenetic relationships of the genus Salminus (Teleostei: Ostariophysi: Characiformes: Characidae). Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation. Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo. 2006;253.

Della Flora MA, Maschke F, Ferreira CC, Pedron FA. Biology and Culture of dourado fish (Salminus brasiliensis). Acta Vet Brasilica. 2010;4(1):7-14.

Gomiero LM, Braga FMS. Reproduction of a fish assemblage in the state of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil. Braz J Biology. 2007;67(2):283-292.

Pastana MNL, Dagosta FCP, Esguícero ALH. A new sexually dichromatic miniature Hyphessobrycon (Teleostei: Characiformes: Characidae) from the Rio Formiga, upper Rio Juruena basin, Mato Grosso, Brazil, with a review of sexual dichromatism in Characiformes. J Fish Biol. 2017;91(5):1301-18. Available:

Machado C. Reproductive aspects of the golden Salminus Brasiliensis (Cuvier, 1816) (Teleostei, Characidae) in the Upper Rio Uruguay region, Brazil. Masters dissertation, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis. 2003;52.

Costa-Neto EM, Dias CV, Melo MN. The traditional ichthyological knowledge of the fishermen of the city of Barra, region of the middle São Francisco, State of Bahia, Brazil. Acta Scientiarum. 2002;24(2):561-572. Available: actascibiolsci.v24i0.2360

Costa-Neto EM, Vargas-Clavijo M, Santos-Fita D. Handbook of Ethnozoology: a theoretical-practical guide to investigate the interconnection of human beings with animals. Tundra Ediciones, 1st. Ed. Valencia, España. 2009;15-20.

Sano SM, Almeida SP, Ribeiro JF. Cerrado: Ecology and flora. Brasília: Embrapa Technological Information. 2008;1:152-212.

Rolim G, Camargo MBP, Lania DG, Moraes JFL. Köppen and Thornthwaite Climate Classification and their Applicability in the Determination of Agroclimatic Zones for the State of São Paulo. Bragantia, Campinas. 2007;66(4):711-20. Available:

Lazzari R. General situation of fish farming. Basic course in fish farming; 1st Edition. 2006;5-6.

Kullander S, Ferreira E. A review of the South American cichlid genus Cichla, with descriptions of nine new species (Teleostei: Cichlidae). Ichthyol Explor Freshwaters. 2006;17(4):289-398.

Sabaj MH, López-Fernández H, Willis SC, Hemraj DD, Taphorn DC, Winemiller KO. Cichla cataractae (Cichliformes: Cichlidae), new species of peacock bass from the Essequibo Basin, Guyana and Venezuela. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 2020;167(1):69-86. Available: 053.167.0106

Zaniboni-Filho E. Freshwater fish larviculture. Informe Agropecuário, Belo Horizonte. 2000;21(203):69-77.

Luz RK, Ferreira AA, Reynalte-Tataje DA. Larviculture of golden post-larvae (Salminus maxillosus), in the first days of life. Proceedings of the Brazilian Aquaculture Symposium, Florianópolis; 2000.

Vitule JRS, Bornatowski H, Freire CA. Extralimital introductions of Salminus brasiliensis (Cuvier, 1816) (Teleostei, Characidae) for sport fishing purposes: a growing challenge for the conservation of biodiversity in neotropical aquatic ecosystems BioInvas. Rec. 2014;3(4):291-296. Available:https://doi:

Calcagnotto D, Schaefer SA, Desalle R. Relationschips among characiformfishes inferred from analysis of nuclear and mitochondrial gene sequences. Mol Phylog Evol. 2005;36:135-153. Available:https://doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.01.004

Bessa E, Carvalho LN, Sabino J, Tomazzelli P. Juveniles of the piscivorous dourado Salminus brasiliensis mimic the piraputanga Brycon hilarii as an alternative predation tactic. Neotrop ichthyol. 2011;9(2):351-4. Available:

Abe KT, Mariguela TC, Avelino GS, Foresti F, Oliveira C. Systematic and historical biogeography of the Bryconidae (Ostariophysi: Characiformes) suggesting a new rearrangement of its genera and an old origin of Mesoamerican ichthyofauna. BMC Evol Biol, 2014;14:152. Available:

Daga VS, Olden JD, Gubiani ÉA, Piana PA, Padial AA, Vitule JRS. Scale-dependent patterns of fish faunal homogenization in Neotropical reservoirs. Hydrobiologia; 2019. Available:

Ribeiro VR, Silva PRL, Gubiani EA, Vanessa LF, Daga S, Vitule JRS. Imminent threat of the predator fish invasion Salminus brasiliensis in a Neotropical ecoregion: eco-vandalism masked as an environmental Project. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation. 2017;15(2):132-135. Available:

Cowx IG, Portocarrero-Aya M. Paradigm shifts in fish conservation: Moving to the ecosystem services concept. J Fish Biology. 2011;79(6):1663-80. Available:https://doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2011.03144.x

Barletta M, Jaureguizar AJ, Baigun C, Fontoura NF, Agostinho AA, et al. Fish and aquatic habitat conservation in South America: a continental overview with emphasis on neotropical system. J Fish Biol. 2010;76(9):2118-76. Available:

Moura F.B.P.; Marques J.G.W. The knowledge of traditional fishermen regarding the spatio-temporal dynamics of natural resources in the Chapada Diamantina region, state of Bahia. 2007;7(3):119-126. Available:

Moura FBP, Marques JGW, Nogueira EMS. "Known fish, which sees from afar": traditional ichthyological knowledge in Chapada Diamantina, Bahia. Biotemas. 2008;21(3):115-123. Available:

Viana JP. Fisheries Resources in Brazil: stock situation, management and suggestion for the future. Ipea regional, urban and environmental bulletin; 2013.

Gerhardinger LC, Marenzi RC, Silva MH, Medeiros RP. Local ecological knowledge of fishermen from Babitonga Bay, Santa Catarina, Brazil: fish of the Serranidae family and changes in the marine environment. Acta Scient Biol Sci. 2006;28(3):253-261. Available:

Paiola LM, Tomanik EA. Traditional populations, social representations and environmental preservation: a study on the prospects for continuing artisanal fishing in a riverside region of the Paraná River. Acta Scientiarum, 2002;24(1):175-180. Available:

Azevedo-Santos VM, Costa-Neto EM, Lima-Stripari N. Conception of artisanal fishermen who use the Furnas reservoir, State of Minas Gerais, about fishing resources: an ethno-psychological study. Biotemas, 2010;23(4):135-145. Available:https://doi: 10.5007/2175-7925.2010v23n4p135

Oliveira MD, Calheiro DF, Padovani CR. Mapping and description of the areas of occurrence of decoada events in the Pantanal [electronic resource]. Corumbá: Embrapa Pantanal: il. color. (Research and Development Bulletin/Embrapa Pantanal. 2013;21. Available:

Pinheiro L. From ichthyology to ethno-knowledge: popular knowledge, environmental perception and sense of conservation in a riverside community on the Piraí River, Joinville, State of Santa Catarina. Maringá. Acta Scientiarum. Biological Sciences. 2004;26(3):325-334.

Rabalais NN, Diaz RJ, Levin LA, Turner RE, Gilbert D, Zhang J. Dynamics and distribution of natural and human-caused hypoxia. Biogeosciences, 2010; 7, 585–619. Available:

Rabalais NN, Turner RE, Sen Gupta BK, Platon E, Parsons ML. Sediments tell the history of eutrophication and hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Ecological Applications. 2007;17(5) Supplement:S129-S143. Available:https://doi:10.1890/06-0644.1

Rowe GT. Seasonal hypoxia in the bottom water off the Mississippi River Delta. J Environ Quality, Madison. 2001;30(2):281-290. Available: 302281x

Breitburg D, Levin LA, Oschlies A, Gregorie M, Chavez FP, Conley DJ. et al. Declining oxygen in the global ocean and coastal waters. Science 2018;5:359(6371):eaam7240. Available:https://doi:10.1126/science.aam7240

Arlinghaus R, Beard TD, Cooke S, Cowx IG. Benefits and risks of adopting the global code of practice for recreational fisheries. Fisheries. 2012;37(4):165-172. Available:https://doi:10.1080/03632415.2012.666473

Cooke S.J. & Cowx I.G. Contrasting recreational and commercial fishing: Searching for common issues to promote unified conservation of fisheries resources and aquatic environments. Biological Conservation. 2006;128(1):93-108. Available:

Quach TKN, Flaaten O. Protected areas for conflict resolution and management of recreational and commercial fisheries. Marine Res Economics. 2010;25(4):409-426. Available:https://doi:10.5950/0738-1360-25.4.409.

Caminhas AMT. The Practice of Fish-And-Release Under the Perspective of Fishwell-Being Studies: perspectives of an ethical scientific debate. Rev Panorâmica On-Line. Barra do Garças/MT. 2015;19:10–22.

Rose JD. The neurobehavioral nature of fishes and the question of awareness and pain. Rev. Fish. Sci. 2002;10:1-38. Available:https://doi:10.1080/20026491051668

Sneddon LU. Trigeminal somatosensory innervation of the head of a teleost fish with particular reference to nociception. Brain Res. 2003;972:44-52. Available: https://doi:10.1016/S0006-8993 (03)02483-1

Sneddon LU. Pain perception in fish: indicators and endpoints. ILAR J. 2009;50:338-342. Available: https://doi:10.1093/ilar.50.4.33

Rorig MCL, Silveira SD, Ferrante M, Bombardelli RA. The sencience and employment of opioids in fish - retrospective study. Rev Agrar Acad. 2020;3(3):104-118. Available:https://doi: 10.32406/v3n32020/104-118/agrariacad.

Chandroo KP, Duncan IJH, Moccia RD. Can fish suffer?: Perspectives on sentience, pain, fear and stress. Appl Animal Beh Sci. 2004;86:225-250. Available:

Sneddon LU. Pain in aquatic animals. J Exp Biol. 2015;218:967-976. Available:https://doi:10.1242/jeb.088823.

Sneddon LU. Evolution of nociception and pain: evidence from fish models Biolog Sci. 2019;274:1785. Available:

Ceccarelli PS, Cantelmo OA, Melo JSC, Bock CL. Fish-and-release: general information and practical procedures. Brasília: IBAMA (Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis), 2006;42.

Thompson M, Wassenbergh SV, Rogers SM, Seamone SG, Higham TE. Angling-induced injuries have a negative impact on suction feeding performance and hydrodynamics in marine shiner perch, Cymatogaster aggregata. J Exp Biol. 2018;221:1-8. Available:https//doi:10.1242/jeb.180935

Pollock KH, Pine WE. The design and analysis of field studies to estimate catch-and-release mortality. Fish. Manag. Ecol. 2007;14:123-130. Available:https://doi:10.1111/ j.1365-2400.2007.00532.x

Sanches RAK, Piana PA. The influence of catch-and-release on mortality of Salminus brasiliensis (Cuvier, 1816). Braz. J. Biol. 2019;25:1-6. Available: 10.1590/1519-6984.204168

Cooke SJ, Suski CD, Barthel BL, Ostrand KG, Tufts BL, Philipp DP. Injury and mortality induced by four hook types on bluegill and pumpkinseed. N. Am. J. Fish. Manag. 2003;23:883-893. Available: https://doi:10.1577/M02-096

Rodrigues SS, Menin E. Anatomy of the bucopharyngeal cavity of Salminus brasiliensis (Cuvier, 1817) (Pisces, Characidae, Salmininae). Biotemas. 2006;19(1):41-50.

Vieira O. General Sport Fishing. Even Tucunaré Açu is captured twice in Roraima - different fisheries; 2020. Available: mesmo-tucunare-acu-e-capturado-duas-vezes-em-roraima/

Wiegand MC, Piedra JIG, Araújo JC. Vulnerability towards eutrophication of two tropical lakes in both humid (Cuba) and semiarid (Brazil) climates. Eng Sanit Ambient. 2016;21(2):415-424. Available:https://doi:10.1590/S1413-41522016139527

Mercante CTJ, Pereira JS, Maruyama LS, Castro PMG, Menezes LCBM, Sendacz S, Di Genaro AC. Water quality in fish hatchery effluent located in the upper Tietê river basin. Bioikos, 2011;25(1):41-52.

Urbinati EC, Carneiro PCF. Sodium chloride added to transport water and physiological responses of Matrinxã Brycon amazonicus (Teleost: Characidae). Acta Amazônica. 2006;36(4):569–572. Available:

Silva RD, Rocha LO, Fortes BDA, Vieira D, Fiorovante MCS. Hematological parameters of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.) under air exposure stress. Pesq. Vet. Bras. 2012;32(1). Available:

Deriggi GF, Inoue LAKA, Moraes G. Stress responses to handling in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus Linnaeus): assess ment of eugenol as an alternative anesthetic Acta Sci., Biol. Sci. 2006;28:269-274.

Araújo LD, Chagas EC, Gomes LC, Brandão FR. Effect of therapeutic formalin baths on tambaqui stress indicators. Pesq. Agropec. Bras. 2004;39:217-221. Available:

Pitcher TJ. Evaluating the Benefits of Recreational Fishing: Papers, Discussions and Issues: A Conference Held at the UBC Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia. 1999; 7(2):169.

Schober J. Impacts of recreational fishing from the perspective of scientific research. Cienc Cult 2015; 67(1). Available:

IUCN. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species; 2020. Version 2020.2. Available: . Access in 16 Set 2020.

ICMbio. Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation. Red Book of The Brazilian Fauna Threatened with Extinction. Vol. VI - Fish. 1ª.Ed. In: ICMbio (Org.). Brasília-DF. ICMbio MMA. 2018;1232. Available: images/stories/comunicacao/publicacoes/publicações-diversas/livro_vermelho_ 2018_ vol6.pdf. Access in 08 Set. 2020.

Marques AAB, Fontana CS, Vélez E, Bencke GA, Schneide M, Reis RE. Reference List of Endangered Fauna in Rio Grande do Sul. Decree No. 41,672, of June 10, 2002. Porto Alegre: FZB/MCT – PUCRS/PANGEA. 2002;52. Available:

Mateus LAF, Penha JMF, Petrere M. Fishing resources in the rio Cuiabá basin, Pantanal do Mato Grosso, Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology, 2004;2(4):217-227. Available:

Zayas MA, Cordiviola E. The conservation state of characidae fish (Pisces: Characiformes) in of the plata basin, Argentina. Gayana. 2007;71(2):178-186. Available:

Rosa RS, Lima FCT. Brazilian Fish Threatened with Extinction. 1-19 p. In: Red Book of Brazilian Fauna threatened with Extinction. Editores Machado, A.B.M, Drummond G.M., Paglia A.P. 1ª. Ed. – Brasilia, DF: MMA; Biodiversitas. 2019;2:1420.

Rondon PL. Growth and Exploitation Status of Salminus brasiliensis (Cuvier, 1816) (Characiformes: Characidae) in the Upper Paraguay Basin. Dissertation. Federal University of Mato Grosso. Institute of Biosciences. Graduate Program in Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation; 2015.

Freitas LACM. Genetic diversity in gold (Salminus brasilienis Curvier, 1816), a species of great commercial interest in the Pantanal Mato Grossense - Doctoral Thesis. Federal University of São Carlos, UFSCar; 2010.

Machado CB, Ishizuka TK, Freitas PD, Valiati VH, Galetti Jr PM. DNA barcoding reveals taxonomic uncertainty in Salminus (Characiformes). Systematics and Biodiversity 2016;1-11. Available:

Rosso JJ, Rueda EC, Sánchez S, Bruno, MC, Casciotta JR. et al.; Basin-scale distribution and haplotype partitioning in different genetic lineages of the Neotropical migratory fish Salminus brasiliensis. Aquatic Conserv Marine and Fresh Ecosyst. 2018;28(2-4):444-56. Available:

BRAZIL. Fisheries legislation. Federal Senate. 2nd. Ed. Federal Senate, Coordination of Technical Editions, 2013. 71 p. ISBN: 978-85-7018-510-5. Access 16 Set 2020; 2013. Available: df?sequence=1

Nedelec SL, Radford AN, Pearl L, Nedelec B, McCormick MI, Meekan MG, Simpson SD. Motorboat noise impacts parental behaviour and offspring survival in a reef fish. Proc. R. Soc. B. 28420170143. Available:

Simpson SD, Radford AN, Nedelec SL, Ferrari MCO, Chivers DP, McCormick MI, Meekan MG. Anthropogenic noise increases fish mortality by predation. Nat. Comum. 2016;7:10544. Available:https://doi:10.1038/ncomms10544

Shannon G, McKenna MF, Angeloni LM, Crooks KR, Fristrup KM, Brown E, et al. A synthesis of two decades of research documenting the effects of noise on wildlife. Biol. Rev. 2016;91:982–1005. Available:https://doi:10.1111/brv.12207

Morley EL, Jones G, Radford AN. The importance of invertebrates when considering the impacts of anthropogenic noise. Proc. R. Soc. B. 2014; 281:20132683. Available:https://doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.2683

Barber JR, Crooks KR, Fristrup KM. The costs of chronic noise exposure for terrestrial organisms. Trends Ecol. Evol. 2010; 25, 180–189.

Donaldson MR, O’Connor CM, Donaldson L, Gingerich AJ, Danylchuc SE. et al. Contrasting Global Game Fish and Non-Game Fish Species. Fisheries. 2011;36(8):385-397. Available:https://doi:10.1080/03632415.2011.597672