Tara Oceans


Tara is in Lorient (France). She will leave next Saturday at 11 AM for the Tara Mediterranean expedition !

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Upcoming departure for Tara-Mediterranean
Saturday, April 19, the schooner Tara will leave Lorient, her home port, for a seven-month expedition in the Mediterranean. The crew will conduct studies about plastic, and raise awareness about the many environmental issues related to the Mediterranean.

450 million people live along the Mediterranean coasts in 22 bordering countries. Due to its geography and climate, the Mediterranean Sea hosts nearly10% of global marine biodiversity, although representing only 0.8%  of the ocean's surface. Today's cities are saturated and almost a quarter of the world’s maritime traffic is concentrated in the Mediterranean. Problems related to pollution from land are increasing, putting pressure on the marine ecosystem essential for the people of the region, and for life in general. Among the pollutants is the growing presence of micro-plastics. These are most likely incorporated into the food chain, and thus into our diets. It is therefore urgent to find concrete solutions such as water treatment, waste management, biodegradable plastics, promotion of sustainable tourism, and the creation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) -- solutions proposed decades ago by the Barcelona Convention, the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity, and also by the European Union.
The Tara Mediterranean mission includes several components, including:
1. A scientific study concerning plastic found in the sea will be carried out, coordinated by the Laboratory of Oceanography of Villefranche-sur-Mer (Pierre et Marie Curie University and CNRS) in France and the University of Michigan in the United States, in collaboration with the University of South Brittany and other universities in France.
2. An educational component to promote the efforts of local and regional associations on the many environmental issues concerning this almost-closed sea:
- Promotion of Marine Protected Areas in collaboration with the MedPAN network of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean
- Promotion of solutions for waste reduction
- Sharing of the first analyses of data obtained in the Mediterranean during the Tara Oceans Expedition (2009-2012)
Duration: 7 months = 115 days at sea,  and 115 days in ports of call
Number of stops: 22
Number of countries visited: 11
Distance to be covered: 16,000 km
The team on board consists of 5 sailors, 2 scientists, 1 journalist and 1 artist
agnès b, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Fondation Veolia Environnement, Carbios, UNESCO-IOC, MedPAN, Lorient Agglomeration, Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, IUCN, CNRS, UPMC, University of Michigan, University of Maine, Ifremer, University of Berlin, University of South Brittany, NASA, Observatoire Océanologique de Banyuls, University of Toulon Sud, AFP, RFI, France 24, MCD.
Local and regional associations involved to date:
Expedition MED , Surfrider Foundation, Mohamed VI Foundation for the Environment, Tethys Research Institute, Aquarium of Cala Gonone (Sardinia)

Discover the map of the expedition

Tara's current position

Download the updated map directly :


We Stand Together for a Stand-alone  Sustainable Development Goal on Oceans and Seas
The civil society groups assembled at the 10th Session of the UN Open Working Group (OWG-10) on Sustainable Development Goals (31 March to 4 April 2014), coming together as the “Friends of the Sustainable Development Goal on Oceans and Seas,” unanimously declare that :

We Stand Together for a Stand-alone Sustainable Development Goal on Oceans and Seas. A Stand-alone Goal on Oceans and Seas is essential for achieving sustainable development in the post-2015 development agenda.  The oceans are the most prominent feature of the planet, covering nearly 3/4 of the Earth, and play a critical role in major global processes.  Regulating the water, nitrogen, and carbon cycles, as well as the climate, the oceans provide ecosystem services that support life on Earth.  Most of the global population depends on the oceans and seas as a means for food security, energy production, waste disposal, transportation, and recreation.  Oceans and seas are essential to all three pillars of sustainable development: environment, economy, and society—they are essential for planetary survival, for national and global economic well-being, and for social well-being.
All the groups noted below, present at the OWG-10:
- Express our deep appreciation to the many UN Member States supporting strong ocean targets and a Stand-alone Goal on Oceans and Seas
- Encourage all nations and peoples to support this universal agenda
Global Ocean Forum (ocean leaders and experts from over 110 countries)
World Ocean Network (network of over 400 museums and aquaria)
Tara Expeditions
The Pew Charitable Trusts
The High Seas Alliance (27 non-governmental organizations and IUCN)
The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (over 70 non-governmental organizations, fisher organizations, and law and policy institutes)
The Global Ocean Commission
World Society for the Protection of Animals
Commons Cluster for the United Nations
Center for Environmental Legal Studies, Pace Law School
The Coastal and Marine Union (EUCC) (association with 2700 members and member organizations in 40 countries)


  •  Dr Gaby Gorsky
  • Etienne Bourgois
  • Dr Eric Karsenti

  • Dr Christian Sardet
  • Romain Troublé
  • Martin Hertau
  • Philippe Clais
  • David Brevault
  • Dr Colomban de Vargas
  • Patrick Wincker
  • Mathieu Oriot
  • Éloïse Fontaine
  • Dr Chris Bowler
  • Yohann Mucherie
  • Xavier Bougeard
  • Stefanie Kandels-Lewis
  • Myriam Thomas
  • Dr Emmanuel Boss
  • Nadège Holtzmann
  • André Abreu de Almeida
  • Lee Karp Boss
  • Magali Puiseux
  • Anne Ghuysen Watrin
  • Dr Lars-Eric Heimbürger
  • Virgile Pesey
  • Marc Domingos
  • Brigitte Sabard
  • Bénévoles

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Tara Mediterranean 2014 expedition departure


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