It has been a full month since racing sailing yacht VOR70 Mirpuri Foundation reached safely in the harbour of Barbados after crossing the North Atlantic. A press conference prior and after arrival intended to increase the awareness towards some of the main marine related issues.

The six and a half days transatlantic journey began on January 29 in Mindelo, Cape Verde, a region where local communities, who largely depend on artisanal fishing, are seeing their livelihoods being compromised as result of the declining in fish stocks.

Paulo Mirpuri, founder of Mirpuri Foundation and organiser of the Transatlantic Crossing, took the press conference before departure to talk and give voice to the concerns of local leaders, fishermen and marine conservation researchers. In addition to climate change and pollution, illegal, unregulated and undeclared fishing activities were pointed out as the main issues threatening food security and sea regeneration in the region.

Following the call to action, Mirpuri Foundation expressed its commitment in working with the local government in order to find solutions and protect the region’s marine resources.

The arrival at Barbados, 160 hours and 2400 nautical miles later, was also marked by alerts on how the coral reefs which surround the island are deteriorating at am alarmingly fast pace. Paulo Mirpuri strategically chose this location to end the demanding sailing expedition so he could learn more about what’s currently happening there to one of the most endangered marine ecosystems in the world. As result, Mirpuri Foundation revealed its willingness to support the growing number of local projects related to marine reserves.

 

Photos by Jorge Leal