The Freedive Cafe Podcast: Sheila Hanney the Sea Shepherdess

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This article originally appeared on The Freedive Café, a podcast dedicated purely to freediving where top freedivers discuss techniques, experiences, notes on conservation, and their love of freediving. Support and subscribe to the podcast to hear each new episode first. 

Sheila Hanney was born in the UK and has now been resident in Dahab for 4 years, and also volunteering for Sea Shepherd for the same time.
She spends about half her time in Egypt and half her time on ships in Mexico feeding the crew.

She’s a free diving instructor and judge at the Red C Cup competitions in the world famous blue hole in Dahab.
Of herself she says she is not the deepest diver but she’s seriously Zen.

Her interest in the ocean now is very much concerned with conservation work, we all want clean seas and abundant wildlife and as free divers she feels we are in an unique position to promote ocean awareness.

She currently runs Egypt’s only fully vegan restaurant, the Marine Garden Camp, which is also plastic free.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Sheila’s origins in England.
  • How freediving and ocean conservation developed together.
  • Sheila’s favourite discipline is CWT with bi-fins.
  • Sheila is seriously ZEN in her diving.
  • Meditation in freediving and a +4 minute hang at 30 metres!
  • Judging the Red C Cup competition.
  • What Sea Shepherd is and what they do.
  • The Faroe Islands whale slaughter.
  • Chef aboard a Sea Shepherd vessel.
  • The huge problems of illegal fishing and overfishing.
  • There could be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.
  • Sea of Cortez expedition and researching.
  • How local communities of traditional fisherman can sustain their oceans.
  • The unique opportunity freedivers have to prmote ocean awareness and conservation.
  • Issues with spearfishing.
  • Contaminated fish.
  • I Am Water.
  • Sheila’s vegan restaurant in Dahab and some of the dishes on offer.
  • Why a plant based diet is better for the oceans.
  • Sheila recommends the movie/book Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist.

Sheila’s Links:

Sheila’s Facebook

Marine Garden Camp

Sea Shepherd