Mission William

In 2022, we launched the William Mission, whose objective is to protect the world’s largest endangered fish – IUCN classification – in the Southeast Atlantic: the whale shark or Rhincodron Typus.

The William Mission begins in São Tomé and Principe. A small archipelago nestled at the bottom of the Gulf of Guinea, barely 110 NM from Gabon and 240 from Cameroon.

This archipelago is the continuation of the underwater mountain range of Cameroon.

In 2022, when the mission was launched, only a few fishermen had seen this fish in São Tomesian waters.

Today, we invite you to discover our scientific, educational and political support objectives.

Our team already includes more than 12 scientists from all over the world, several schools, 6 institutions, including the University of STP… and above all more than 20 diving fishermen from the archipelago for whom the William Mission has become a symbol of protection of their Ocean.

Discover the video !

William” To me the Ocean is about sharks, whales, and whale sharks”. 

François Sarano

Our Ambassadors:

“William, the ambassador for the whale sharks, deserves all our attention. He, just like all the other species of sharks, is dangerously threatened by our out of control development, by our caprice, by our recklessness. Eviscerated by the vessels crossing the oceans, illegally caught and amputated of their fins, the whale sharks are disappearing in a total indifference We can not be the unconcerned accomplices of this silent genocide. The Mission William, which I support with enthusiasm, has a double virtue:

– first, to reunite a team of international scientists who will collect essentials data for the protections of these giants and

– Second, it’ll carry the voice of the “voiceless” to the general public and to the children, into their schools all over the world.

This shared knowledge will permit, I’m hoping, our reconciliation with the whale sharks and our other wild EARTH-mates of the ocean. François Sarano

Doctor in oceanography, scientific adviser to Commandant Cousteau and Jacques Perrin, François Sarano is co-founder of the association LONGITUDE 181, whose goal is the protection of the oceans.

The journalist sailor, Fabrice Amedeo, who will be taking part in his third Vendée Globe on 10 November, will be wearing the colours of Over the Swell:

“I’m excited to become an ambassador for Over the Swell and stand up for whale sharks. We have many projects together and for my part I also have a dream now: to dive with the whale sharks in Sao Tome in the Gulf of Guinea.

Protecting marine animals from our foils, our daggerboards, our keels and, more broadly, our boats is an essential issue for the IMOCA class and I am very happy that the silence on the subject is starting to dissipate. We cannot continue to kill marine mammals and whale sharks and modestly talk about collisions with Unidentified Objects.

Congratulations to the Vendée Globe, which has included this issue in its sporting specifications!

The Williams


What an honour, Mission William has been chosen as the 9th of the 10 environmental commitments for the next edition of the mythical Vendée Globe race around the world.

Fabrice Amedeo



Meet our superb team


Hugues, Alex, Marie, Simon, Jorge, Rebecca, Kenickie, Laurent, Hugulay, Manuela...Over 20 scientists, facilitators and teachers and of course local fishers share the same ambition of delivering this extra ordinary mission. A multi cultural team from Europe, Africa, the US and Oceania.


Prep-mission in Sao Tomé e Principe. Our objective was to finalise the scientific protocol with the univiersity of STP and Marapa. We structured our MW’s local Whale Shark Surveillance team. We also put the final touch to the education program with Escola Portuguesa.

Whale shark photo IDs campaign in St Helena with SH National Trust.

Observation team training in Sao Tome and Principe. Identification of 8 whale sharks spots on both Islands.

Validation of whale sharks during short season: Gravaninha.

Partnership with Fundacao Principe.

Launch of the whale shark observation awareness campaign to artisan fishers in Sao TOmé south.

The protocol

The full protocol will be downloaded soon.