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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Paper

Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.106

Predation and compassion: other relationships between humans and animals in aquatic environments on the Amazon


  • Guilherme ANTUNES

Primary authors


Human-wildlife interactions from hunting and fishing on the Amazon are narrated in the travel accounts by ancient naturalists from the 18th and 19th centuries, in experiences lived by inhabitants of coastal and riverside communities, and are also a subject of constant conservationist policies for defense of certain animal species (some of them, vulnerable to extinction). Possible tensions between environmentalism and extractivism are reflected in the government’s actions to monitoring and regulating subsistence practices - especially fishing - within these communities, as well as in the ecological sensitivities sometimes raised by individual actors (environmentalists, researchers and the local fishermen themselves, among others) in such contexts. In the face of predation as a constant event of interspecies relations in Amazonian environments, it becomes important to consider other possibilities of interaction, beyond more specific cosmologies of a plural Amazon (and that is not exclusively indigenous). Regarding the ecological sensitivities and the legal status of certain animal species - such as aquatic mammals (cetaceans, sirenians, etc.) -, the approach to this theme within the anthropological studies on the Amazon still requires a more accurate contribution. Based on an ethnography carried out in two distinct poles of the Amazon basin, this presentation focuses on human interactions with local aquatic fauna, starting from the approach of predatory practices and their legal and moral developments in fluvial and marine contexts, reconstituting a historicity of these interspecific relations and of the biopolitical condition of the species involved in the extractive fishery of the Amazon.