Fish for the Future | Canaries to Senegal

Sep 6 – Sep 16 2015

Depart: Lanzarote, Canaries
Arrive: Dakar, Senegal
Length: 11 days, 10 nights
Focus: Fisheries



10,000 tonnes of fish are taken from the ocean … an hour! That’s the equivalent in weight of about 20 Boeing 747’s.

Arguably the biggest challenge facing ocean ecosystems is that we are – literally – emptying them of fish. About 1/3 of the world’s human population depends on fish as their primary source of protein. But actually, we ALL need fish. Fish are key to ocean ecosystems; and ocean ecosystems are key to all life on earth.

Whether you eat fish, study fish, work with fish, paint fish or just care about life on earth JOIN US for an extraordinary 2 week journey from Canaries to Senegal exploring this issue from a uniquely appropriate perspective.


The context

The seas off the west coast of Africa are amongst the most productive in the world. Fish is a crucial resource for West African countries, providing vital food security and employment in coastal areas, as well as government revenue from fees that countries and companies pay to fish in these waters. Yet illegal fishing – that deprives these countries of much-needed revenue, and depletes fish stocks – is widespread and extremely challenging to monitor, with huge distances at sea and vessels coming to fish in the region from across the globe, including China, Taiwan, France, Spain, Russia and South Korea.


This expedition

With 12 precious days at sea and 10 nights on board Sea Dragon, this expedition offers a unique combination: the chance to contribute valuable practical help towards the resolution of overfishing in a really key area; an intriguing investigative slant; facilitated conversations and inputs about overfishing, what’s driving it, who it effects and why it matters; and an exploration of overfishing in the wider context of human impacts on marine environments and environmental sustainability. Plus ‘time out’ in a stunning marine environment, and practical sessions on big ocean sailing and celestial navigation.


The crew will include:

Kate Rawles, former university lecturer, author, ‘outdoor philosopher’ and environmentalist, will facilitate regular discussions and inputs on fisheries, overfishing, marine impacts and environmental sustainability. She strongly believes in the power of adventurous journeys to communicate key environmental issues to wide audiences and to offer a unique opportunity to see things from a different perspective. As well as information about the particular issues around overfishing in this area, she’ll be opening up some big questions about environmental unsustainability in general; and its possible root causes in terms of consumerism, growth economics, technology (friend or foe or both?), values and worldviews, and human/nature relations. She’ll also be inviting debate about what we can all do, personally and professionally, to help move this issue forward in real, practical terms.

Eric Loss and Shanley McEntee, Captain and First Mate of yacht Sea Dragon, will share some of their fantastic knowledge with regular inputs on sailing, marine life and celestial navigation.


Briefing from a leading analyst and fisheries expert by skype when we join yacht Sea Dragon in Cape Verde. Under their guidance, we’ll be providing key information that will help with the critical task of monitoring who is fishing for what, where – and with or without permission.


This is a call to anyone – from ordinary citizen to CEO – who:

  • Would love an ocean adventure;
  • Wants to learn new skills and explore ideas and issues;
  • Would appreciate the chance to make a real, practical contribution to a pressing environmental and social issue;
  • Is really up for beyond-tokenism change.

A short piece about the Sea Dragon approach, in the context of our Gyre to Gaia plastic pollution expedition, can be found here.

Use crowdfunding to get on board!

Several people have successfully raised money through crowdfunding to join previous expeditions on board Sea Dragon. The possibilities for this are endless, but we have resources and a few examples available here.



Dr Kate Rawles – Mission Leader

Kate’s background is environmental philosophy, which she taught at Lancaster University for ten years. She left to set up Outdoor Philosophy – combining debate about human/nature relations with powerful experiences of wild places, in order to inspire and support more sustainable ways of living and working. She’s now a half-time lecturer in Outdoor Studies at Cumbria University and a freelance outdoor philosopher, writer and environmental campaigner. She works with Jonathon Porritt on Forum for the Future’s innovative ‘Reconnections’ project and has written widely on environmental issues. Kate is passionate about the potential for using adventure stories to communicate. Her book The Carbon Cycle; Crossing the Great Divide (Two Ravens Press, 2012), is based on a 4553 mile ride from Texas to Alaska along the spine of the Rockies, exploring N.American attitudes to climate change.


Eric Loss – Skipper

A native of California, Eric has been on the water since an early age. He has sailed more than 55,000 offshore miles, and has sailed everything from windsurfers to 115′ schooners, and recently he completed a single-handed circumnavigation by way of the great capes. He enjoys teaching all aspects of sailing, from boat handling and dinghy racing to navigation and seamanship. He is always eager to share his knowledge of celestial navigation. Eric has been involved in sail training for most of his life, and is an US Sailing instructor. He holds an IYT Master of Yachts Ocean with commercial endorsement and a USCG 100 ton master’s license. Eric is also an experienced diver and PADI Divemaster.

Shanley McEntee

Shanley was born and raised in San Diego, CA and graduated with a BA in Environmental Policy and a minor in Environmental Science from Western Washington University. Having grown up by the sea, she holds a deep passion for Mother Ocean and our ever-growing need for protection and awareness of the problems our environment is facing. She enjoys anything having to do with the sea, from surfing to scuba diving to sailing, and loves offshore passages. She is PADI Rescue Diver certified and holds an IYT Master of Yachts Offshore with commercial endorsement.

Andy Rogan – Deckhand

Background and area of expertise
Andy grew up between London, UK and Florida, USA and has always had a strong connection to the oceans and in particular those animals which inhabit them. Since obtaining an MSc in animal behaviour in 2012 he has pursued a career as a marine biologist, working primarily in research driven conservation. This has focused on studying large cetaceans and has recently taken him to research projects in Australia, the Canary Islands and Alaska. During the summers of 2013 and 2014 he worked as Science Manager on a long-term research expedition studying the effects of chemical pollution on Sperm whales and other whales & dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico. A sailboat acted as both home and research platform for this project, and spending such long periods of time offshore on such a vessel was an experience Andy enjoyed enormously. He has also worked on more general ocean conservation and citizen science type projects. His core interests lie in the toxicological threat chemical and plastic pollution pose to the marine environment and the foraging ecology of deep diving toothed whales.

Goals and aims for the expedition

First and foremost I’m excited about getting to know and working with Pangaea Explorations. My own views on marine conservation seem to mirror those of the organisation closely and I have tremendous respect for Pangaea and the way they approach issues in marine conservation: particularly regards our own species mind-set towards the oceans. The collapse of fisheries across our oceans has profound implications for humanity and the wider ocean ecosystem, and I am interested in learning more about this. I am lucky enough to have traveled widely, but this will provide my first taste of West Africa and I’m excited to see what this brings. I’m also looking forward to doing more sailing: tracking Sperm whales is an arduous task requiring almost constant heading changes and thus isn’t conducive to sailing, and I’m excited to rectify this on this expedition-and to get to know a new boat in the process. I’m also looking forward to documenting any whale and dolphin species we encounter along the way.



Sep 6th Crew meet at noon in Lanzarote. Afternoon/evening getting to know each other, relaxing ashore. Introduction session. This night will be on the dock.
Sep 7th Safety briefing and then depart. Learn the basics of sailing.
Sep 8-14th Sailing
Sep 15th  Arrive into Dakar, Senegal
Sep 16th Final discussion session. Crew depart at midday.

*Itinerary subject to change based on weather and willingness to ‘say yes more’ to spontaneous possibilities 😉

Travel documents:
Crew will require a passport from their home country that will allow them to travel to Africa.


Contribution Includes:

  • 10 nights accommodation on board Sea Dragon
  • All meals, snacks and drinks on board
  • Sailing instruction
  • Safety equipment and foul weather gear

Payment does not include:

  • Transportation to Canaries and home from Senegal
  • Transportation to and from the dock
  • Personal expenses while in port

Kit List
Please see our Travel Kit List.