Jair Bolsonaro, unrepentant fisherman

Jair Bolsonaro, January 15, in Brasilia.
Jair Bolsonaro, January 15, in Brasilia. FOTOARENA / SIPA USA / SIPA

It has become a ritual: once a week, during a live broadcast on social networks, Jair Bolsonaro addresses his fellow citizens. Seated at a simple table, surrounded by ministers or advisers, the strong man of Brasilia returns to the news and tries to convince of the benefits of his policy. However, surprise: since the beginning of his mandate, the most talked about subject has been neither violence nor corruption, even less unemployment, but … angling.

According to the newspaper Estadão, just between March and July 2019, on a little over 9 hours of live, the president would have spent 45 minutes and 33 seconds of airtime on the subject, ahead of the Internet (41 minutes and 20 seconds) and weapons to fire (36 minutes and 55 seconds). Out of the 50 most mentioned themes, privatizations only happen in 28e position and employment, at 44e square. The “sub-theme” of fishing for tilapia, a species of exotic carp, alone took up 15 minutes and 47 seconds, far ahead of public health (7 minutes and 33 seconds), for example.

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Supported by his pet

Because Bolsonaro is hooked. Experienced sportsman from his youth, used to feeling the fish in the bay of Rio, he likes to put himself on stage, cane in hand: as in December 2019, when, on vacation in Bahia on a military base, the "president fisherman ", A club jersey Tubarão FC ("Shark FC") on his shoulders, pulled out of the water a huge 18-kilo tambaqui.

Simplicity and virility: Bolsonaro cultivates his image of a man of the people. But the hobby presidential has political consequences. Under pressure from the government, the government institute Chico-Mendes (ICMBio), responsible for the protection of national reserves, issued, on February 5, an order authorizing fishing in all the conservation units of the country, even in the Amazon and the Pantanal.

The measure terrified environmentalists, already scalded by the action of the head of state. It is not surprising, however: since the start of his mandate, Jair Bolsonaro has continued to proclaim his desire to revoke the laws regulating the fishing sector and to reduce the fines judged downwards. "Unjust" that weigh on amateurs. "You can't live in such terror in Brazil! ", launched the president during a live crusade against the "Environmental Shiites" and others "Green Taliban".

Bolsonaro is supported in this by Jorge Seif Júnior, government secretary for fisheries. The 42-year-old man is known as the " darling "of the president, who considers him as his son and has given him the flattering nickname of " 06 ", the head of state already having five children, to whom he assigned a figure. He himself comes from a wealthy family of entrepreneurs, owners of an industrial tuna and sardine fishing firm in the state of Santa Catarina, and early support from the president.


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