Mangrove Crab Fisherman

When I was travelling to Bahia State on the north eastern coast of Brazilian to produce some images for my photo book Atlantic Brazil, I was looking for stories that showed the relationship between the fishers and the environment. At that time, I knew Mister João Barba (John Beard) from another conservation project in the region and he had hosted me through Canavieiras Marine Extractive Reserve, showing me how different communities live and fish in preserved ecosystems.

A community leader in the south part of Bahia state fishes in a Brazilian MPA know as Marine Extractive Reserve, harvesting crabs through an artisanal technique using his arms. This traditional fishing method, learned for generations, respect the fish stocks and maintain a cultural heritage of these mangrove’s fishers. © Enrico Marone

"Photographing the traditional fishers is an honour to me because the small-scale fisheries are being increasingly impacted by other economic activities and marine contamination"

like the largest oil spill event last year that contaminated a thousand kilometres of beaches, rivers, and mangroves in Brazil.

Inspiring Leader in his Natural Environment

Mister John has been a finfish fisher and crab fisher since he was a child and became a national leader defending the coast communities’ rights in Brazil. Capturing the brightness from his eye, of this inspiring leader, in his natural environment was a transformative moment for me and helped me understand the deep, strong and respectful connection between the traditional people and nature. They understand the principles of sustainability and can contribute significantly to participatory fisheries management in their territory. We have a lot to learn from them and we should amplify their voices. I would like that the power of this image inspires people to recognise how the traditional cultures are crucial for conservation and how healthy mangroves are important to maintain the life’s quality of the locals and ourselves as well.


To take pictures of traditional cultures and landscapes, I always adopt a respectful approach, trying to observe and not interfere in the scenario. Working in the mangroves can be very challenging considering the mud-terrain that makes you bog down to the knees and the mosquitoes that can make you crazy. To avoid using mosquito repellent is important to choose the right clothes to protect yourself. Put on a tight shoe to protect your feet from the sharp oyster that lives in the mud and roots. A friend of mine sent me a link to the Mangrove Photo Award and instantly I got excited to submit because I think that we must strengthen global conservation initiatives and the photo narrative create the disruptive movement to increase awareness for the conservation of our natural world.

Have a look at more of Enrico’s incredible work – Instagram: @enricomarone website: