Protecting coral reefs

After having studied plankton in the oceans and analyzed pollution by plastics in the Mediterranean, Tara is launching its new expedition, Tara Pacific. It will focus on coral reefs with the aim of furthering understanding of their evolution in the face of climate change and the ecological disruptions taking place on our planet. The schooner will set sail in May 2016.


Coral reefs cover 0.02% of the area of oceans but house 25% of marine biodiversity. This biodiversity sustains almost one billion people, primarily in Southern Asia (“the Coral Triangle”). These three figures demonstrate the ecological and economic importance of coral reefs. And yet they are not adequately protected: 20% have disappeared, definitively; 25% are seriously endangered and another 25% may come under threat looking to 2050. Their greatest enemy: the combined effects of a growing world population and climate change.

To understand the state of health of coral reefs and inform both the general public and policy makers about this issue, Tara Expéditions is launching Tara Pacific, which will pursue its journey from May 2016 until July 2018. The schooner will visit a very large number of coral reef islands spread out over huge areas: French Polynesia alone counts 347 islands over an area of almost 6,800 square meters. Most of these islands are not affected by direct man-made pollution, but are threatened by the global changes taking place on our planet. Whatever the cause, Tara Expéditions will focus on measuring both types of disruption and furthering our understanding of them.
Tara Pacific

Understand and communicate

Tara Pacific is the schooner’s 11th expedition since 2003 and the third supported by the Veolia Foundation. Like the preceding voyages, Tara Pacific has chosen two fields of action: science and building awareness.

The scientists will be studying the adaptive potential and resilience of coral to climate change, and – in some areas – to man-made pollution; they will also be deepening their knowledge of the biodiversity of the reefs, from individual gene to the ecosystem. Lastly they will be looking at the possible applications of this research for human health.
 


Tara Expéditions will inform the public about the progress of the expedition through the press, its own website and those of its partners – including the Veolia Foundation – and international TV documentaries. The schooner will carry out two awareness-raising campaigns in Asia, in 2017 and 2013, with several stopovers currently being planned in Japan, South Korea and China. Before its return to Europe, Tara Expéditions plans stopovers in Singapore, the Middle East and the Mediterranean to publicize its work.
Tara Pacific - carte V2
 
Denis Allemand, director of the Scientific Center of Monaco, and Serge Planes, director of CRIOBE (Center for Island Research and Environment Observatory) and of Labex Corail (Laboratory of Excellence – French “Investment in the Future” program).
(Not including Awareness-Building Stopovers)

May 2016– August 2017
Panama, Malpelo (Colombia), Easter Island, Ducie Island, Gambier Islands, Tuamotus, French Polynesia, Society Islands, Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, Futuna, Tuvalu, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, the Marianas, Japan

Sep. 2017– Feb. 2018
New Caledonia, Papua-New Guinea, Palau, Philippines
  • Tara Oceans (2009-2013) : An unprecedented three-year scientific expedition on all the seas of the globe (understanding the spatial organisation of ecosystems and understanding their response to atmospheric viariations).
  • Tara Mediterranean (2014) : Destination the Mediterranean to investigate the impact of plastics on the ecosystem.
  • Scientific Coordination
    Denis Allemand, director of the Scientific Center of Monaco, and Serge Planes, director of CRIOBE (Center for Island Research and Environment Observatory) and of Labex Corail (Laboratory of Excellence – French “Investment in the Future” program).
  • Chronology
    (Not including Awareness-Building Stopovers)

    May 2016– August 2017
    Panama, Malpelo (Colombia), Easter Island, Ducie Island, Gambier Islands, Tuamotus, French Polynesia, Society Islands, Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, Futuna, Tuvalu, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, the Marianas, Japan

    Sep. 2017– Feb. 2018
    New Caledonia, Papua-New Guinea, Palau, Philippines
  • Others projects supported
    • Tara Oceans (2009-2013) : An unprecedented three-year scientific expedition on all the seas of the globe (understanding the spatial organisation of ecosystems and understanding their response to atmospheric viariations).
    • Tara Mediterranean (2014) : Destination the Mediterranean to investigate the impact of plastics on the ecosystem.