Tara Oceans ()


The schooner Tara will restart an expedition in 2013. Northward bound ! F.Latreille/Tara Expeditions

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We will set sail in May 2013 for the Great North. Tara will attempt to go around the Arctic Ocean via the Northeast and Northwest passages, depending on ice conditions. Most scientists and institutes already involved in Tara Oceans will take part in this project. Using methodology established for the Tara Oceans expedition will allow us to make observations never done before in the Arctic.  

The goal is to understand how the polar ecosystem responds to climate change, to the influx of land-based pollution, and to other activities that increasingly impact its biodiversity. Our presence there will give us the opportunity to inform the public, politicians and the business world about the most pressing environmental issues in the Arctic.

Interview with Romain Troublé, general secretary of Tara Expeditions.

Why the Arctic?

The Arctic Ocean, familiar to Tara since her 507-day drift in the pack ice (between 2006 and 2008) has been in transition over the past twenty years. The world is now paying attention to the melting ice cap -- a fundamental challenge for the climate system. Last summer, scientists observed an astonishing acceleration of melting. Some envision a total summer meltdown by 2020, whereas the IPCC estimates the total meltdown will occur in 2050!

The purpose of this mission will be to contribute to the international effort to understand the Arctic ecosystem before a probable climatic change, so that we can anticipate and adapt to changes that seem to be obviously accelerating.

Can you detail the scientific program of this expedition?

Tara can accomodate a good number of scientific approaches. Our goals and means are precisely determined before each mission. During the last Tara Oceans expedition, only the Arctic Ocean was missing in the effort to collect plankton from all the world's oceans. There is therefore a strong interest to compare Arctic biodiversity with that of other oceans. Moreover, the great cohesion of the scientific team established since 2009, their collective experience, and available equipment are all key factors for success.

In addition to a biological approach, there are many oceanographic, chemical, and climatic issues to deal with. Tara Expeditions intends to contribute to ongoing efforts by integrating a multidisciplinary team of scientists.

Have you identified the risks involved during this expedition?

We have identified several types of natural, diplomatic, and technical risks.
Natural hazards are of course difficult to predict -- the weather and the important presence of ice. These are risks that could jeopardize the expedition, for although the period of melting is getting longer, the time window before the ice reforms is short, and does not leave much room for unexpected delays. The expedition takes place mostly in waters under the sovereignty of countries bordering the Arctic, and it's possible they will not all cooperate. On the technical side, there's always the risk of a motor or generator failure, and this may cause a delay and prevent us from completing the Arctic tour before the ice reforms.

How long have you been planning this expedition?

Since 2009, Tara has traveled and sampled all the oceans of our planet except one, the Arctic Ocean. Since we had to cancel, sadly, the Arctic passage during the Tara Oceans expedition in March 2011, we've held on to this idea with Etienne Bourgois, Eric Karsenti and the principal scientists. We've been working on it since March 2012.

Do you have the necessary financing?

Not completely, but we have support from key scientific partners in France, Europe and America, as well as the support of our original sponsor, agnes b. and Prince Albert II of Monaco.
We are seeking other partners and sponsors able to participate alongside Tara for 3 years, and finance at least 30% of the budget, or 500 000 € / year.

How do you choose the expeditions? What is the guiding principle of Tara Expeditions' choices?

Tara's mission is to study and understand the behavior of the oceans confronted with ecological crisis and climate change. We've defined the most important global issues where Tara's expertise can be useful. We are also impelled to identify research programs capable of arousing the public's curiosity. Plankton, at first glance, was a difficult subject because it is invisible. But its key role in life on earth captured the public's interest. This is thanks to the significant investment of Tara's team, and the exemplary commitment of the CNRS, EMBL and CEA researchers in our outreach projects.
Often it's a story of people, meetings, and shared ideas that orient Tara's course.

Northward bound in 2013 !

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Tara Mediterranean expedition
From April to November 2014

After more than 4 years sailing around the world and the Arctic, Tara is preparing a mission with two objectives : to accomplish a scientific study concerning plastic pollution and to promote awareness of environmental challeges in the Mediterranean Sea, cradle of our civilization.

A traveling exhibition and films will be shared with the public. We will also welcome classes aboard at each stopover. Artists will be in residence on Tara for the duration of the expedition.
We are currently looking for local partners and volunteers to work with us on organizing this campaign. Do not hesitate to contact us:  aideztara@taraexpeditions.org

Click here to learn more about the expedition and its highlights


Tara's application for iPad selected in TOP of AppStore in 118 countries


Tara's application is available for iPad !

Join us aboard Tara, a schooner for the planet, and experience her unique voyages on the world's oceans – in one application !

- Panoramic photos show you the boat as if you were on board.
- Learn more about Tara's expeditions via articles, photos, videos, routes of the expeditions and more!

To download it, it's free, just click here


Ocean Sciences meeting


The biennial Ocean Sciences Meeting that took place recently in Honolulu, Hawaii (February 22 - 28, 2014) is the most important international symposium in oceanography. It brings together all the scientific disciplines (physics, chemistry, geology, biology) as well as the social sciences. Nearly 5,000 scientists attended.

Lars Stemmann, Chris Bowler, Hiroyuki Ogata, Colomban de Vargas and Emmanuel Boss – scientists involved Tara Oceans – organized a session on the integrated study of ocean ecosystems during which more than 20 researchers shared their work with a full audience. Exchanges took place concerning oceanic biodiversity (methods and estimations) and its sensitivity to changes at different scales of time and space (including transport by ocean currents). Scientists discussed their results and methods. Contacts were made to share and promote internationally the outstanding data resulting from the Tara Oceans expedition.




Discover and sign Paris Appeal for the High Seas !

Your voice matters: Only a democratically-organized, international governance of the High Seas can safeguard and sustainably manage the resources of this unique realm.

Click here


The Tara Oceans expedition discovers a new coral reef species from the Gambier Islands, French Polynesia


A new shallow water coral species, Echinophyllia tarae sp. n., is described from the Gambier Islands, French Polynesia. The remote and poorly known Gambier islands were explored by the Tara Oceans international research expedition in 2011. Scleractinia, also called stony corals, are ancient and structurally simple marine animals which have the ability to form hard skeletons and are involved in the build up of coral reefs. This new coral is common in the lagoon reefs of the Gambier, and was observed in muddy environments where several colonies showed partial mortality and re-growth. The paper devoted to the new species was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

More information : here


Explore Google Ocean with Tara


Write "Tara" on the research of Sylviaearlealliance's website
or click bellow


OCEANOMICS, funded by Investments for the Future



Tara in Nowness by Spencer Lowell


Watch the video here. By Spencer Lowell (3min)


Tara Expeditions Blogs


Find Tara Expeditions content in our blogs in several languages : - spanish - italian - portuguese


Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations speaks to Tara at Rio +20


Part of the speach :

"Earlier this year, I had the chance to board the Tara Expeditions when it docked in New York.
The crew was really inspiring. They shared so much information with me about oceans and climate change. I am really grateful that they are raising awareness around the world … and I am very proud that the United Nations is supporting them.
As I stood on the Tara that day in February, I stood on the deck and looked out at downtown Manhattan. We were surrounded by skyscrapers but we had a window on the deep blue sea. It was a reminder that our worlds are connected.
I promised the crew that I would continue working with dedication for the planet’s oceans.
Now, Rio has to put more wind in our sails, so we can navigate the waves to a better future.
Let us advance for our oceans and our world."

Rio de Janeiro, 21 June 2012