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Long-term coastal adaptation, food security and poverty alleviation in Latin America

Project description

Exploring coastal exploitation in Brazil

Small-scale fisheries represent a significant source of food and livelihood for millions globally. In developing countries, they also play a central role in poverty eradication. To understand the cultural and economic significance of Latin American small-scale fisheries requires the engagement of archaeology and history. The EU-funded TRADITION project will investigate a 4 000-year-old record of coastal exploitation in the Atlantic forest of Brazil, one of the world’s most threatened environments, aiming to understand how coastal economies reacted to extraordinary societal and environmental changes and adapted their subsistence practices, technologies and culture. The project will explore archaeological, palaeontological, historical and ethnographic records to enlighten understanding of the development of small-scale fisheries in the region.


TRADITION aims to understand the long-term trajectory of human interaction with coastal resources and its legacy to present day small-scale fisheries in Latin America. Founded on traditional knowledge rooted in the past, small-scale fisheries are a crucial source of food and livelihood for millions of people worldwide, and play a pivotal role in poverty eradication in developing countries. A thorough recognition of the cultural and socio-economic significance of Latin American fisheries requires a temporal component that only archaeology and history can provide. TRADITION will investigate a 4000-year record of coastal exploitation in one of the world's most threatened tropical environments: the Atlantic forest of Brazil. We will draw together archaeological, palaeoecological, historical and ethnographic records to address fundamental questions that impinge upon our current understanding of the development of small-scale fisheries in this region. How did coastal economies adapt to the spread of agriculture? What was the impact of past climate and environmental changes on coastal populations? What was the impact of European colonisation of the Americas on the development of small-scale fisheries? What was the role of historical institutions and regulations in the negotiation between traditional and modern practices in small-scale fisheries? How have the historical practices and events shaped current small-scale coastal communities, and can this knowledge benefit current management strategies. The answers will help us understand how coastal economies responded to unprecedented societal and environmental changes by adapting their subsistence practices, technology and culture, while contributing to the foundation of coastal societies in Latin America.


Net EU contribution
€ 1 454 792,50
Edif a campus de la uab bellaterra cerdanyola v
08193 Cerdanyola del valles

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Este Cataluña Barcelona
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (2)