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EditPhoto Title:Abrolhos Seascape
EditPhoto Description:
EditImage Url:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_43152739.jpg
EditImage Description:Abrolhos National Park, Bahia, Brazil
EditPhoto Credit:© Luciano Candisani/iLCP
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EditInitial Position - Latitude:-18
EditInitial Position - Longitude:-38
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EditShow Filter:falseFalse
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EditMaximum Zoom:8
EditBounds - Min. Latitude:-90
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​Brazil’s central coast, home to the south Atlantic Ocean’s largest and most diverse coral reef system, attracts tourists from around the world — but overfishing and development put much of the area at risk.

A group of five small islands, the Abrolhos Seascape spans more than 95,000 square kilometers (nearly 37,000 square miles). From mushroom-shaped coral formations found nowhere else on Earth and seabirds like the brown booby to mangroves and humpback whales, the region supports a variety of plant and animal life.

But many of the seascape’s species — like marine turtles — are endangered, and steps to ensure their protection need to be taken, not only for their sake, but for the thousands of people whose income relies on sustainable fishing and tourism.

Why is the Abrolhos Seascape important?

Jobs and Prosperity

The seascape’s environment plays an important role in job creation and income for local communities. An estimated 20,000 fishermen earn their main source of income from small-scale, sustainable fishing using traditional practices. Through activities such as diving, snorkeling, swimming and whale watching, tourists increase income opportunities and contribute significantly to the local economy.

Joy and Inspiration

The Abrolhos region harbors the highest known marine biodiversity in the entire south Atlantic, including the largest population of humpback whales on the Brazilian coast. The Seascape’s reef formations are the largest in Brazil, displaying unique structures and attracting tourists from around the world.


Circles 3 Across

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Section Info

EditSection TitleWhat are the issues?
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EditSection ID (Anchor Tag):issues[Optional]



EditCircle color:fact--blue    
EditCircle icon:icon-fish
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EditResult field:Overfishing

With large populations of species of high commercial value, such as squared grouper and yellowtail snapper, a growing number of larger and industrial fishing boats have moved to the Abrolhos Seascape, increasing pressure on the species and competing with traditional fishermen and their primary income source.


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EditResult field:Unplanned development

Economic activities, such as oil and gas exploitation, shrimp farming and intensifying coastal development threaten the Abrolhos Seascape’s mangrove forests, coral reefs and other delicate ecosystems.


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EditSection title:What is CI doing?
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    Column Items

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    Edit Item Title:Our role
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    Edit Item Text:Since 1996, Conservation International has been working with partners — including universities, nonprofits, communities and government agencies — to conserve the Abrolhos Seascape’s unique ecosystems.
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    Edit Item Title:Our plan
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    Improving lives and protecting nature

    CI is working to expand the Abrolhos network of marine protected areas, make local fisheries more sustainable and improve the quality of life of coastal communities. CI is also developing and implementing an ecosystem-based adaptation strategy to protect coastal and marine habitats against the effects of global climate change.

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    ​Image with Text Overlay

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    EditImage Alt Text:Fishing boat, Abrolhos National Park, Brazil
    EditTitle:By the numbers
    EditSubtitle:3,000 square kilometers
    EditText:Conservation International has facilitated the creation of three extractive reserves, areas owned by the Brazilian government where fishing is limited to local communities that use sustainable harvesting methods — ultimately protecting around 3,000 square kilometers (1,200 square miles).
    EditPhoto Credit:
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      More of Our Work Links

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      Section Configuration

      EditAnchor tag for sticky nav:[Optional]
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      First Image

      EditImage Alt Text:Night falls over Rio de Janeiro. © Nikada

      Second Image

      EditTitle:Science and Innovation
      EditImage Alt Text:Scientists set a camera trap. © Benjamin Drummond

      Third Image

      EditTitle:The Ocean
      EditImage Alt Text:Coral reef in Viti Levu, Fiji, Oceania. © William Crosse