The IPC-IG and FAO discuss the Seguro Defeso programme’s role in promoting sustainable fisheries in Brazil

YES Brasil / Canva

The International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) held the webinar “Impact Evaluation of the Seguro Defeso in Brazil” on 7 December 2021, through the platform. Brazil’s Seguro-Defeso is a contributory social security measure targeted at small-scale artisanal fishers in the country: an unemployment benefit granted during closed seasons, aiming at protecting the environment and aquatic species. Speakers highlighted the key takeaways from the programme’s first impact evaluation and discussed the challenges involved in making necessary adjustments.

After almost 30 years, the first impact evaluation of the programme on the socio-economic conditions of beneficiaries was conducted by the IPC-IG and FAO, covering fishermen across the country. This evaluation looked at the programme's design, implementation, and management, with the goal of determining whether benefit payments are linked to improvements in beneficiaries' socio-economic indicators, such as household conditions and educational levels of children and adolescents, among others.  

According to Danielle Kalikoski, FAO’s Fishery Officer, impact evaluations are crucial to the adaptive management of the sector, as well as regular “updates and collection of data of artisanal fishers to target and follow with immediate actions”. 

Furthermore, Sergio Mattos, Fishery Engineer at the Apolônio Salles Foundation for Educational Development (Fadurpe), pointed out that there are some aspects that may hinder the development of the study, such as inconsistencies resulting from fragmented information  regarding scope, timeliness and thoroughness, the precariousness of data production, among others.  

In this sense, Fábio Veras, Research Coordinator at the IPC-IG and Senior Researcher at the Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea), concluded that the programme contributes to increasing school enrolment rates and the proportion of young adults who study or work; and it tends to improve the quality of beneficiaries' housing. 

During the closed season, Seguro-Defeso establishes the payment of one minimum wage per month (up to 5 months per year) to artisanal fishermen, subject to specific restrictions. Artisanal fishermen must be registered with the General Fisheries Registry, which allows individuals, legal entities, and vessels to legally engage in fishing. 

In the upcoming months, the IPC-IG will publish a series of One Pagers and a Policy Research Brief with more details on the research. The final report was validated by the Brazilian Fisheries and Aquaculture Secretariat and by FAO in a meeting held in November 2021. The study estimated the impact of the benefit from 1992 to 2018 and generally concluded that the longer beneficiaries received it, the better their living conditions. The findings show that the programme contributes to increasing school enrolment rates; increases the proportion of young adults who study or work in the medium term; and tends to improve the quality of beneficiaries' housing.   
These results will soon  be presented  to the Ministry of Fishing and Aquaculture as a contribution to a wide review of the Seguro-Defeso policy. 
Watch the recording of the webinar.  
Related news: