Sunday, July 27, 2014. Prince Albert II of Monaco came aboard the schooner for a visit, highlighting his Foundation’s support of Tara’s mission
On July 27, 2014, during Tara’s stopover in the Cyclades (Greece), Romain Troublé Secretary General of Tara Expeditions, and the crew of the schooner had the honor of welcoming aboard H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and his delegation for a few hours. One of the main partners of the Tara Mediterranean expedition, the Albert II of Monaco Foundation has been supporting Tara’s missions since 2006.
This visit allowed H.S.H. Prince Albert II to fully appreciate the implications of Tara’s scientific expeditions by seeing first-hand the work accomplished for years with our partner laboratories and institutes. H.S.H. Prince Albert declared, “I am extremely happy to be on board. I had seen the boat at dock without actually sailing on it, so this is a real satisfaction to share at least a few hours with Tara’s crew. I think that by having this opportunity to talk, we can now envisage other ideas and other adventures.”
H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco was able to discover the boat in the conditions of an expedition – the occasion for the Prince to highlight the interest of the Tara Mediterranean expedition: “This campaign – to study pollution by plastics – is also a way to alert our contemporaries and make them understand that the situation is serious. I think Tara is really an example. This is a great adventure, environmental and maritime of course, but above all, human.”
The visit of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco aboard Tara underlines the commitment of his Foundation to protect the oceans, and his support for the Tara Mediterranean mission. This expedition has a scientific component – to better understand the impacts of plastic on the Mediterranean ecosystem, and an educational component – to raise public awareness of the many issues related to the Mediterranean. This includes the promotion of efforts to develop Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
“This entire day spent aboard Tara with H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and his Foundation’s team gave us the opportunity to support the launching of the Gyaros MPA, and strengthen ties with H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco. For over 7 years he has been supporting and encouraging Tara’s quest for knowledge,” says Romain Troublé, Secretary General of Tara Expeditions.
Also present on this day were the members of associations involved in a major program of conservation of the monk seal on the island of Gyaros. H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco considers vital the program – run by his Foundation and local partners – to preserve this endangered species. “It was important to try to save one of the last monk seal habitats on the island of Gyaros and other surrounding islands,” he said. “We are very happy to be a partner in this program, via my Foundation. I think we will not only better protect the monk seal and its habitat, but also the fauna and flora of these extremely fragile ecosystems.” These conservation actions and scientific studies are accompanied by a determination to work with local partners. “Projects like these only work if everyone feels involved, when everyone meets around the same table,” explains Prince Albert. “We must be able to work with the local population, especially with the fishermen, to show that it’s in their interest too, in the long run, that monk seals and fishermen coexist.”
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