Exploring the Mid Coast of the Rio Negro, Amazonas, Brazil

cover page CRYER Project Piaba

My photo spread from the Project Piaba 2015 Expedition made the front page of the April issue of the CRYER.

The Mid Coast of Maine and the Mid Coast of the Rio Negro, in the state of Amazonas Brazil, contain two very different fishing communities. One borders the vast Atlantic Ocean, the other is immersed in fresh water for as far as the eye can see. This winter Maine felt like the North Pole so I couldn’t help but note that the Amazon Rain Forest fishing villages are less than 50 miles from the Equator.

For everything in our saltwater ocean, there appeared to be a freshwater counterpart. In the Amazon we encountered Pink Freshwater Dolphins, otters, seals and stingrays.

Once you get to the understanding that there is nothing but freshwater for as far as the eye can see (nearly 20% of all freshwater on earth), you can also quickly see patterns of community that are very similar. Earning your living from the sea is not easy. The work is hard, the hours are long and the pay, well, check out the exchange rate and their tax rate and you get the message rather quickly. People of the Amazon share many of the same difficulties we find in Maine. These include over-regulation that can take on mythic proportion. And yes, just like home here in Bath and Harpswell, these are some of the nicest people on earth. They just happen to sit on the other side of the world.

exploring Rio Negro pg 18 exploring Rio Negro pg 19