In this study, we sought to investigate the biology (diet and reproduction) and ethnobiology (fishers knowledge and fishing spots used to catch snappers) of five species of snappers (Lutjanidae), including Lutjanus analis, Lutjanus synagris, Lutjanus vivanus, Ocyurus chrysurus, and Romboplites saliens at five sites along the northeast (Riacho Doce, Maceió in Alagoas State, and Porto do Sauípe, Entre Rios at Bahia State) and the southeast (SE) Brazilian coast (Paraty and Rio de Janeiro cities at Rio de Janeiro State, and Bertioga, at São Paulo State.).We collected 288 snappers and interviewed 86 fishermen. The stomach contents of each fish were examined and macroscopic gonad analysis was performed. Snappers are very important for the fisheries of NE Brazil, and our results indicated that some populations, such as mutton snapper (L. analis) and lane snapper (L. synagris), are being caught when they are too young, at early juvenile stages.Local knowledge has been shown to be a powerful tool for determining appropriate policies regarding management of target species, and artisanal fishermen can be included in management processes. Other suggestions for managing the fisheries are discussed, including proposals that could provide motivation for artisanal fishermen to participate in programs to conserve resources, such as co-management approaches that utilize local knowledge, the establishment of fishing seasons, and compensation of fishermen, through 'payment for environmental services'. These suggestions may enhance the participation of local artisanal fishermen in moving to a more realistic and less top-down management approach of the fish population.