Mangroves and Marisqueiras

August 23, 2021

Mangroves are a source of pride and belonging for women on Brazil’s Amazon coast.

Mothers of the Mangroves is a four-part video series that explores the fundamental roles many women play as coastal guardians in northern Pará state, nurturing and protecting the ecosystem that supports their lives and livelihoods and helps mitigate our global climate crisis. It is a call to action to conserve this precious resource before it’s too late.

Transcripts are auto-generated.

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In the past we used to come with my mother and father to fish with nets to catch fish. We fish in the river between the mangroves.

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The crab spawns for five days, and for five days we went in the morning and in the afternoon to catch the crab.

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And when the crab walked, there were a lot of women in the mangrove,

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we are aware that at that time we should not catch crabs because government legislation does not allow the crab could be fished during the closed season.

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Then we were re-educated.

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I usually wake up at 5:30 in the morning to take care of the children first.

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To be able to go to the activities that have to be done.

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I plant, harvest.

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And in the mangroves we go and catch crabs.

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And also we collect oyster and other shellfish because everything from here is our livelihood.

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Not only me, but the whole community, depends on the mangrove.

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So, we have to help take care of it, because if it’s over, where do we go?

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We are doing this for a living.

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If we don’t protect the mangrove, in the future we will not have the conserved ecosystem.

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We really like nature because the mangrove is life.

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We have it here as a nursery.

In this first video, “Roots that Support,” the “marisqueiras” share the community solutions and behavioral shifts they have inspired in their communities.

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Meeting of Waters – Episode 2

I have time for the farm and there is time for fishing, at the moment

it is the fishing time, catching fish. I have my own canoe

and my own gear. We catch species one at a time

respecting the seasons. Different seasons

offer different species that we can harvest.

We are surviving according to what the mangrove offers.

Everyone invites friends and cousins, you know, most here at

the community are relatives and we go fishing just to eat

to prepare the crab food.

All family and friends

prepare the crab food. So everyone gets organized

and goes to the mangrove to get the crab.

Because once you get a lot, you know you will

get to the shore and find buyers who will

sell and you will get money to buy your sugar

your coffee, your rice.

I’ve already lived a little for survival too, mainly

in these difficult times.

And I help people when I can.

People come to my house and I give them fish.

I catch a lot of fish and I can help my neighbors by sharing what I catch.

So if I have it, I share my fish with them.

How much more fish I give for my neighbors

my brothers – the next day I go to the beach

and the net will be full of fish.

Who survives from the mangrove,
needs to preserve because otherwise it collapses.

Everywhere you take it, if you don’t conserve, it will end.

If you attack nature, it’ll get you back and you wouldn’t like it

because we eat healthy things, which are the fish

that come from the mangrove, so it represents a lot,
represents everything in our lives.

Have the awareness for the environment,

for nature, so I teach them.

I teach my nephew, anyone I’ve seen that

is doing something that harms the environment

nature, I always pay attention.

Many people from the community

depend on the mangrove, I depend on the

mangrove. I worked nine years in city hall, but I depend

on it a lot.

Caring for mangroves
Is caring for life.

In this second video, we follow the lives of female fishers in Pará state, which has Brazil’s highest concentration of female fishers (95,000). These women show us what it takes to conserve and protect their mangroves.

The Mothers of the Mangroves campaign is a partnership among Purpose, Rare, and Confrem and Associations, with support from Ame o Tucunduba, Climainfo, Conservation International, Instituto Manguezal, Instituto Nova Amazônia, Instituto Peabiru, League of Women for the Ocean, Oceana, and Toró.