Garth Cripps, an independent photojournalist based in Madagascar, has spent many years documenting the unprecedented environmental changes that coastal people in the tropics are living through, and the impacts these are having on their lives.
In this thought-provoking and beautiful photo story, published in Hakai Magazine, Cripps focuses on the migrations of Vezo fishers from the southwest of Madagascar to the Barren Isles archipelago.
Every year, Gary Daniel packs his fishing gear and a few belongings into a small wooden sailing canoe and, with three other men from his family, sails a total of 600 kilometers up the coast and into open seas.
“I keep certain stars in front of the helm, others behind me,” Daniel says. “I learnt the stars and winds from my father—we won’t get lost.”
As well as documenting this remarkable journey, Cripps also explores the environmental and social context of Vezo migrations, and mentions Blue Ventures’ work with Vezo communities in southwest Madagascar.
While earning a living from fishing has become increasingly challenging, Vezo have few alternatives. Their homeland lies in an arid region where farming is difficult. Climate change is making it even harder, with rainfall becoming more erratic and droughts more severe.
Blue Ventures, a marine conservation NGO, is working with the Vezo to create new jobs in aquaculture, rebuild octopus fisheries with temporary closures, and create community-managed marine protected areas.
Read the full photo story from Hakai Magaazine: Chasing the Far, Far Away Fish
Garth Cripps has also filmed a short documentary, produced by Blue Ventures, about a Vezo fisherwoman from southwest Madagascar: Kokoly