A new scientific mission on the Gambia River conducted in partnership with the University of Geneva.

The project in brief

On board the 30-metre steel schooner Mauritius, flying the Swiss flag, Pacifique’s mission is to explore the Gambia River along the following lines:

  • Academic cooperation between the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland / Swansea University, United Kingdom and the GREAT Institute, The Gambia to participate in the training of new generations of Gambian students on coastal and marine research
  • Scientific mediation: transmission and sharing on the role of mangroves
  • Scientific research
    • Collection of basic ecological information: diagnosis of the state of health of the ecosystem, in particular of the mangroves, through water and sediment sampling campaigns and through the use of measuring devices present on the Mauritius
    • Analysis of greenhouse gas emissions from mangroves (analysis of CO2 and methane on air, soil and water samples in mangroves)
    • Research on toxic algae growing in mangrove oysters. A poorly studied public health issue on women who collect these oysters for their subsistence


Discover the pictures of the mission on the Gambia River

Monday 16 January – Departure from Banjul

Since Sunday, the crew of the Mauritius has been preparing the boat for the mission “Sail the mangroves in Gambia”.
At the end of the weekend, about twenty prestigious guests visited our schooner. A local artist and a music band were on hand to celebrate the upcoming departure from Banjul.
On Monday morning, before leaving the port to sail up the Gambia River, 50 Gambian students visited the ship. Several workshops, both artistic and scientific, were set up on the deck and in the wardroom. On this occasion, 3 Gambian media came to cover the event. Departure tomorrow at dawn!

Mardi 17 janvier – JOUR 1

It was under a bright sun that the Mauritius went deeper into the Gambia River yesterday for a first day of research.
The scientific team carried out the first water samples between 0.5 and 8 m deep. These studies will allow for the examination of several parameters such as temperature, salinity and conductivity of the water. The Gambian students were able to learn about the sampling process on board the sailing boat.
The analyses are continuing today with the collection of new data in the river and the first soil cores near the mangroves.


The mission takes place from 15 to 21 January 2023 on the Gambia River


  • Water/soil/air sampling campaign
  • Launch and debriefing conference at the end of the mission in Banjul
  • Production of a 30-minute documentary film during the expedition
  • Awareness raising through a photo exhibition in Geneva to link science and art within the same project

Provisional route of the sailing boat Mauritius on the Gambia River for the duration of the mission


The project is conducted in partnership with the University of Geneva (UNIGE), the Great Institute Gambia, and Swansea University in United Kingdom.

During the mission, about 15 Gambian students will participate in the expedition and 2 UNIGE researchers and 2 Gambian researchers will be accommodated on board the Mauritius.

Logo UniGE_Forel2
GREAT LOGO 1-fondation pacifique

Project leaders

The “Sail for mangroves in Gambia” project is a new mission emerging from the partnership between Pacific and the University of Geneva.

This mission directly echoes the “Arctic Change” and “Winds of change” programmes, innovative pilot projects for monitoring greenhouse gases at the ocean surface developed by Dr. Daphne Donis and Prof. Daniel F. McGinnis of the F.-A. Forel Department of Environmental and Water Sciences (DEFSE) of the Faculty of Sciences, University of Geneva.
They have been partners of the foundation since 2015.


Prof. Daniel F. McGinnis
University of Geneva


Mrs. Marion Cherrak
Scientific director of Pacifique


Mrs. Maiyai Taal Hocheimy
Founder, Director of GREAT Institute


Prof. Kam Tang
Swansea University