Last August when I came to Soyo I learned that the only manatee hunter for the area, Mr. Domingos, had died a week before I arrived. I visited his village on that trip and found four manatee harpoons there. Since then I’ve been working to try to find a way to get them “off the street” so that no one else in this area will take up manatee hunting. Angola LNG generously agreed to trade supplies to the Domingos family for the harpoons and a specialized net Mr. Domingos used for catching manatees. On Wednesday Joao and I met with Mr. Domingos’ widow and youngest son Lando to discuss the terms of the exchange. In return for the manatee harpoons and net, Angola LNG has offered them 6 bags of cement, 4 fishing nets, line and floats for the nets, 8 boxes of hooks and a large cooler. This is all very valuable, especially since the son is a fisherman. They presented us with 2 very old, rusted harpoon tips and the son agreed to go upriver with us the following day to collect the rest at a village. Mrs. Domingos said a third harpoon was locked in a neighbor’s house, but they could give it to us later.
Joao, Mrs. Domingos, me and Lando Domingos meeting at their village near Soyo