Fishermen's wisdom for climate adaptation

In the series of articles by our Youth Newsroom reporters, Thaiane Maciel takes us to the fishermen of Z-10 Colony.

©Thaiane Maciel
Z-10 Fishermen Colony
Father and grandfather of the author
©Thaiane Maciel
My grandfather and my father fishing at Guanabara Bay

I had a little talk with my grandfather and my father, who used to fish on the island of Ilha do Governador in Rio de Janeiro, where we live, ever since they were children. During the conversation, they reminded me of something very important: How the variety of fish and crustaceans was great here on the island. Unfortunately that reality has changed over the years, and it is clear that two factors were decisive for this to happen: Climate change and pollution.

Climatic variations and pollution in Guanabara Bay have affected fishermen's colonies a lot. Especially in countries where there is a lack of basic sanitation. Artisanal fishing has always been a source of livelihood for many families, especially for coastal communities.The big question is: How to recover these areas and what initiatives are important to sustain these communities?

One of the initiatives adopted by the Z-10 fishermen colony, the first colony registered in Brazil located in the Zumbi neighborhood of Ilha do Governador, was to adopt waste management and household waste collection. Fishermen have been directly involved in the recovery of the area, located in a mangrove ecosystem, nursery of native species.

©One Earth One Ocean Website
Fishing plastic

In addition to local cleaning, waste management has served as a source of income for artisanal fishermen, who sell the material for recycling and guarantee part of their income this way.

©Thaiane Maciel
On a tour boat around Z-10 colony

We cannot forget the need to implement basic sanitation, which involves: water treatment, sewage treatment, urban solid waste and urban drainage for developing countries. But without a doubt, the work of artisanal fishermen, their resilience and wisdom, has contributed a lot to their adaptation.