Brazil Federal Courts Expel American Company For Illegal Fishing Activities In The Amazon Rain Forest

In 2021, Acute Angling, a New Jersey-based fishing tourism company, promoted on its website a trip to explore a remote Indigenous area of the Amazon rainforest for fishing activities. “The trip is for ‘the hard-core angler with a streak of exploration, adventure and discovery in their blood,” said the company. “If you itch to be the first person to cast at an untouched stretch of water, then our new Exploratory trip is the way to scratch it,” it added. The company scheduled the trip between November and December.

However, days before the exploratory trip started, Federal courts in Brazil have ordered the company to leave the area, after prosecutors filed charges against the company, as the Associated Press reported. They accused Acute Angling of operating without government authorization and manipulating Indigenous people, which is illegal in the country. Prosecutors said that the company has not consulted the indigenous people about the project. Also, the company has not sent a feasibility study for the activities required by Brazil’s Environment Ministry.

Size of Ireland

Located in Brazil’s northern state of Pará, the Wayamu region is home to several indigenous people. The region has the size of Ireland.

“The activity as far is known, has no authorization from the government for its operation. It is about the exploitation of economic activity within Indigenous lands. To be legitimate, it must be preceded by prior free and informed consultation with the Indigenous peoples,” Judge Clécio Alves de Araújo wrote in September.

In court documents, the prosecutors accused the American company of striking deals with some local leaders. They received small sums of money in exchange for access to the territory.

The Associated Press contacted Acute Angling´s owner, Paul Reiss, by phone and email. Reiss declined to answer questions, but in legal filings, the company has previously denied any wrongdoing.

After the legal ruling, Acute Angling deleted from its website the tour to Mapuera River. The company on its website still offers similar packages in another part of the Wayamu region. The river, called Jatapu, appears under the name Travessao River on the company’s website. Also, it is an “exclusive Indian reserve.”