by Dioniso de Souza Sampaio*
The Brazilian geographic regions (North, Northeast, Midwest, Southeast and South) were historically colonized and developed in a dissonant way. The northern region (Amazon) – legally including territories of five countries (Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela) – features different logics of production, competition, wages, consumption and intellectual training. However, the region is marked by the existence of only two languages, by its cheerful cultural identity and by the political powers that influence it. Such powers, although divergent, are currently able to sew pacts between the oligarchic elites, towards the maintenance of the regional unit. In fact, we are very diverse and any scientific-technological development policy must consider this aspect.
The socioeconomic problems of the regions North or Northeast are not exclusive. These are Brazil’s problems and the political, economic and intellectual leaders need to act in a common integration project, as the National Development Plan, also known as Plan of Goals, which had the famous slogan “fifty years in five”, democratically drafted in the 1950, by President Juscelino Kubitschek. In addition to reward the already installed merit, it is necessary to induce the emergence of merit in other areas of knowledge, in different geopolitical regions. In the decades from 1964 to 1983 (years of military governments in Brazil), it was sketched another joint project, but authoritatively and especially to comply with foreign interests.
The common project to which we refer needs to be internal and democratically agreed, to contain regional projects that define reviewed and permanently updated devices, like the one presented by economist Celso Furtado, during the political term of the first Development Superintendence of the Northeast (SUDENE). The update is required, because the dream of the first one did not contemplate the challenges of science and technology, which would be imposed, basically, since the years 1970, leaving Brazil against the history.
The profession of a Fishing Engineer finds support on the prerogatives of the Federal Law No. 5,194/66, which allowed the Federal Council of Engineering and Agronomy-CONFEA to legislate and deliberate the resolution No. 279, in June 15, 1983, regulating the profession. The craft is included in the field of agricultural sciences and is dedicated to the cultivation, harvesting and processing of marine and freshwater fish.
Undergraduate courses in Fishing Engineering emerged due to the pressure of the market, in response to the increasing development of the fishing industry in Brazil, notably from the second half of the Decade of 1960. The setting of this initiative occurred in 1970, with the deployment of the first Fishing Engineering course at the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco (UFRPE). Six months after, the Fishing Engineering course at the Federal University of Ceará (UFC) started. To those pioneer initiatives, joined more 21 other courses. Currently, there are 23, and the younger ones are the Fishing Engineering courses at the Federal University of Maranhão (UFMA) and at the Federal Institute da Paraíba (IFPB) in the Cabedelo Campus. The courses aim to promote technical and scientific training to the development and implementation of methods and techniques for locating, catching, processing, storage, production, inspection, sanitariness, genetics and reproduction of aquatic organisms.
Nowadays, the courses are represented in 15 of the 17 Brazilian coastal States, with marked and natural imbalance in regional concentration: North (Pará and Amapá); South (Santa Catarina and Paraná); Southeast (São Paulo and Espírito Santo); Northeast (Bahia, Sergipe, Alagoas, Pernambuco, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará, Piauí and Maranhão). There is also representation in two interior States, both in the North region (Amazonas and Rondônia).
According to the National Federation of Brazil’s Fishing Engineers (FAEP-BR), these courses granted graduation, until 2013, to more than 5 thousand Fishing Engineers, 75% of them from pioneer institutions like the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco (UFRPE) and the Federal University of Ceará (UFC). In turn, the official data of 2015 by the Federal Council of Engineering and Agronomy (CONFEA) show 1765 fishing engineers registered in the class entity.
The comprehension of the importance of Fishing and Aquaculture as a vehicle for the large-scale production of protein to the society, the uncompromising respect for the closed season (period of reproduction of the species), the organization of this professional category in associations and labor unions, the strict supervision of companies and professionals of the fishing sector, as well as the careful registration and maintenance of trademarks and patents are challenges to be accomplished to the continuity of a free, supportive, fair, autonomous and critic human development.
Finally, the rich and stunning Amazon is there and Fishing Engineering professionals can help to develop it, preserve it and/or conserve it because it holds a relevant socioeconomic and environmental function.
*Dioniso de Souza Sampaio – Fishing Engineer (CREA/PA 12978-D); Professor of the UFPA/IECOS (Campus de Bragança) and Doctoral Student in Environmental Biology.