Jody MacDonald

A young Vezo fisherman wrestles with an octopus stuck to his arm in the warm waters off the coast of Madagascar. The Vezo rely entirely on fishing and octopus is of critical economic importance to the small fishing communities on the southwest coast. Commercial fishing is pressing the Vezo people to catch more than a sustainable limit to maintain the area’s unique marine environment of coral reefs, mangroves and sea grass beds. They used to catch just enough to feed their families but since 2003 they have become part of an elaborate supply chain, selling their catch to traders who refrigerate and transport the goods, mostly octopus, for sale to Europe. While traditional fishing methods remain the same, the commercialization has shifted local economies from barter to a cash-based competitive market. Local leaders have been fighting back. In 2004 they outlined an area of about 800 square kms of shore and sea, forbidding the use of poison or mosquito nets to fish and placing temporary bans on fishing. Octopus lay thousands of eggs if given the chance and anecdotal evidence showed clearly that their populations were bouncing back after the Vezo’s self-imposed bans took effect. These innovative conservation measures have not only won them global conservations awards but also made them a test case for other fishing villages under pressure. #turningthetide @sea_legacy @gitzoinspires

2,365 Madagascar

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@35awards

Nice 👍

@jodymacdonaldphoto

@weaslemoyle ha ok, thanks for your thoughts and recommendation!

@weaslemoyle

@jodymacdonaldphoto both would be cool! but I bet the stories you have from over the years and the thoughts and findings would make an incredible non-fiction book..

@jodymacdonaldphoto

@weaslemoyle thanks for the amazing compliment! So glad you like my work. What kind of book would you like to see me make?..a coffee table book or a written non-fiction book?

@weaslemoyle

Over the past few years you've become my favourite photographer.. Are you ever gonna write a book?? 😁

@la.vele

Love this ❤️

@jodymacdonaldphoto

@sarahwtchong Hi. I’d love to. Can you send me an email with the details. mail@jody-macdonald.com

@alzofrito

Too nice

@sarahwtchong

Hi Jody, thank you so much for your inspiring work! This story gives me a ray of hope, especially after taking a course on the effect globalization has on previously sustainable and local harvesting. Also, I hope to contact you soon about a speaking opportunity at Dartmouth College if you will be available The weekend of October 20th.

@efflorescence96

Octopus wrestling sounds metal af

@bb.macdonald

Love the pic & story, excellent 🤙

@martinmuir1

@jodymacdonaldphoto ah no way, interested to know how/where you learnt about this story? Were you in velondriake? if you’re ever back in Mada let me know, I would love to connect to tell more of the amazing stories of small-scale fishing communities working together for their futures and the oceans

@jodymacdonaldphoto

@brankababickarajica thanks so much for the nice compliment!

@brankababickarajica

I love your photos! So true to life and unpretentious!

@jodymacdonaldphoto

@martinmuir1 great! No, I did not:(

@martinmuir1

Wonderful photo @beyondconservation pioneering this approach with vezo communities - @jodymacdonaldphoto did you meet our team?

@renu777

Amazing.

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