The Veolia Foundation supports the new scientific expedition Tara Pacific

A new scientific expedition began on 28 May in Lorient (Morbihan, France) – the Tara Pacific. For two and a half years, the schooner Tara will explore the coral reefs in South Asia to better understand how they are adapting to climate change and to our planet’s environmental changes.

Tara Pacific is the schooner’s third expedition supported by the Veolia Foundation, with two objectives: science and education for all.

Coral reefs - or 0.02% of the surface of the oceans – are home to 25% of the biodiversity found in the seas. They feed a billion people in South Asia and generate $30 billion annually (fisheries, tourism, coastal protection). 20% of these reefs have already disappeared, 50% are in danger or will be under threat by 2050: coral reefs are impacted by the combined effects of increased human population and climate change.

The protection of these reefs relies on improving our knowledge: the Tara Pacific scientific mission, entitled "coral reefs facing global change on the planet", aims to study the evolution of 30% of the planet’s coral reefs in the coral triangle (Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Philippines, Papua). It will analyze coral bleaching linked to the increase in ocean temperature and acidification, and its impact on growth. In July, Tara will go through the Panama Canal and will stop at Easter Island, before going on to Polynesia and Japan. From there she will travel to New Zealand and then Papua New Guinea and China. In 2017, scientists will study the resilience of the coral reefs to climate change and will propose educational materials for the general public. 

Tara Pacific in figures

  • 100,000 km to go in 30 months and 30,000 samples to be collected
  • 70 scientists from 8 countries will take turns on board

Further information is available on the Sheet Project.