The countdown has started. 2 oceans, 22 hours, and 16,400 kilometers between now and Mauritius. I am on my way from Washington, D.C. to meet Vanina at home.
Tomorrow is a big day for us! After a year of hard work, we are ready to begin the production of Vey nou Lagon.
This past year has included a lot of the behind the scenes pre-production work, from deciding on the approach of the movie and writing the script, talking to sponsors and writing grant applications, to launching our website and social media platform. This past year also included a scouting trip to Mauritius, during which we met with different stakeholders, including fishers, coast guards, NGO representatives, scientists, members of the government, and citizens.
We have come a long way since last June and we are very excited to start filming the movie, tomorrow! Vanina and I and the rest of the crew are meeting Georgie at the public beach of Poste Lafayette, on the east coast of Mauritius at 6:45 in the morning. Just in time for sunrise!
Georgie is a professional fisherman, but he hoped of a better future for his children. Living off the ocean is not sustainable anymore. While his father raised 11 children from working as a full time fisherman, Georgie is the father of two and works three jobs to make ends meet. What has happened to ocean?
We look forward to gathering different pieces of the story for you over the next two weeks.
Join us as we get to know Georgie and his family, explore the shoreline, the lagoons, and the underwater world of Mauritius and Rodrigues. Come with us to meet and learn from the tourism industry and from artisanal fishermen of the Western Indian Ocean.
Follow our adventures! Like Vey nou Lagon’s page on Facebook, retweet our posts, and follow us on Instagram @veynoulagon.
Finally, we would like to thank National Geographic, Trimetys, and Air Mauritius for their support in making these next two weeks possible.
Zara: “Like all Mauritians, I love octopus salad. I will always remember finding a baby octopus on a drifting piece of plastic in the lagoon. For days, I could not stop wondering how it was going to survive facing all the dangers of the oceans. It was so delicate a wave could tear one of its arm out, so tiny a crab could eat it in one bite. It made me realize how important it is to protect the baby ones, so that they can grow to sustain an island nation."
Vanina: “My favorite memory of growing up in Mont Choisy is the 10-year-old me sitting in the sand and looking for tec-tecs. These small shells are so delicious fried in garlic! I love them. Unfortunately, today, I can only find tiny ones that I don’t collect in the hope that they grow to their adult size so that one day I can enjoy eating them again. ”
We never fully realized the value of the role the ocean plays in our lives until we left Mauritius. We have learned about the current threats to our oceans. Going back home every year we noticed little changes with big implications. It’s not like it used to be and we are now committed to protecting our island nation and its lagoons.
A year ago, we started working together on Vey nou Lagon and we are very excited to share our progress and what we are learning along the way with you.
As Mauritians, we are inherently tied to the ocean, but ensuring healthy oceans is not solely an issue of concern to islanders. Sustainable oceans are essential to sustaining life and livelihoods and are considered a key part of the global food security solution.
As citizens, our daily actions have a direct impact on the underwater environment, and taking simple steps can make a significant difference.
Around the world and throughout our island, there are passionate and dedicated people who are oceans’ heroes. We are inspired and motivated by the many fishermen, divers in the tourism industry, and citizens who are taking inspirational actions on a daily basis that have a significant positive impact on our lagoons, our lifestyles, and our country’s well-being.
Like other small islands around the world, Mauritius requires only the right tools and partnerships to protect our environment, grow our economy, and enrich livelihoods.
We can all be part of the solution, Mauritians and citizens of the world.
Vey nou Lagon will provide support and foster awareness and understanding in driving community involvement with the ocean towards a sustainable future.
We believe that an inspirational film in the voice of a local traditional artisanal fisherman and with testimonials from fishermen from Rodrigues will be an effective step in engaging the community further.
We are delighted to announce the launch of our website and social media platform today, that will allow for people from Mauritius and around the world to interact and be part of the much needed discussion, to find the appropriate solutions for a more sustainable future.
We are on our way back to Mauritius to film and start the production stage of Vey nou Lagon. Join us on this exciting adventure! Follow our progress, meet the people we meet, discover or rediscover our lagoons with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and through our blog. Share the information with your friends and colleagues and if you would like to donate, there is a link on our website to our fiscal sponsor page, Women in Film and Video, that allows for tax-deductible donations.
What will you do to protect our lagoons?
Together, we can create waves of change. Together, let’s Vey nou Lagon.