Fishing and Hunting in Brazil

Information on fishing, angling and the permits required for the fresh water rivers, lakes and dams of Brazil, as well as sea fishing off the Brazilian coast. Also information on hunting...

Brazil's size, range of ecosystems and diversity of fauna and flora has made it a popular place to fish or merely observe animals in their natural habitat. It is home to a range of endangered species: jaguars, alligators, giant catfish and countless others.

For a long time, hunting and fishing were largely unregulated, but in 1988 The Federal Constitution was amended (Article 225) to conform with the 1972 UN Stockholm declaration on the human environment.

This made a range of activities illegal, including cock fighting and the southern tradition of the Ox Feast.


There are many places to fish in Brazil.

The Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente E Dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis or IBAMA) is the federal agency, operating through the Ministry of Environment, that polices all environmental law and grants permits.

Hunting (or in any way molesting) whales and dolphins is outlawed in Brazilian waters. Punishment can be a two to five year prison sentence, fine and seizure of vessel.

Organized fishing tours are popular options in Brazil, often for security reasons. In some areas there is a real risk of injury or death from venomous snakes, spiders, poisonous plants, infectious disease, strong tides or currents.

Fishing areas in Brazil

The Rio Negro in the Amazon is famed for its peacock bass and catfish. There are swordfish off the coast of Rio Grande Do Norte and tuna in the south, as well as sail fish and marlin. Spear fishing is also possible in many areas.

The Pantanal and Amazon regions both have piranha. Fishing for piranha is a popular activity for many tourists passing through these regions.

In the mid 20th century, trout were introduced to the mountainous region between the states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Bocaina is the nearest town serving as a hub to an emerging fly fishing scene.

Fishing licenses

Fishing licenses (licença de pesca) in Brazil are required for anyone fishing with a rod, from a boat or underwater. Forms to apply for a license are available at fishing shops and the IBAMA.

To obtain a license, all that is required is a CPF number (foreigner's applying for a license may supply their passport number instead) and payment of a fee. Licenses from IBAMA can be applied for online or by post.

  • IBAMA Tel: (61) 3316 1633
  • To download the application form: Click here and select licença de pesca
  • For further information from the Ministry of Fishing (Ministerio de Pesca e Aquicultura): Click here (in Portuguese)

Hunting in Brazil

Hunting is illegal throughout Brazil except in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. Traps are illegal and hunting must not be commercial in nature. However, Brazilian law does allow for animals to be killed in self defense, if they are dangerous or as an essential source of food for self or family.

Illegal hunting does take place in Brazil, but penalties are severe and include prison sentences and fines.