A unique expedition
On 5 September 2009, at noon, the Tara boat has departed from Lorient for a three-year expedition on all the world’s oceans.
The oceans produce half the oxygen that we breathe. If the forests are the planet’s first lung, the oceans constitute the second lung. These plankton and other microorganism prairies constitute, by their photosynthetic activity, a huge oxygen pump. Moreover, these sea organisms are also an important well of carbon dioxide. For these reasons, our future depends on the safeguard of the oceans.
Unfortunately, this complex ecosystem remains one of the least explored fields of oceanography. This invisible world is one of the lesser known by man while the wealth of its biodiversity is considerable.
At present, the sea life is threatened by the major ecological upheavals that we know, climatic warming, and pollution. Will marine ecosystems survive these upheavals? Are we heading towards a transformation of the oceanic life?
Faced with the need to act now, world-renowned international scientists, led by Eric Karsenti, the Unit Manager at EMBL, have joined arms to help the team of the Tara Funds and its President Etienne Bourgois.
Tara Oceans is an exceptional expedition that will cross the seas of the globe. The urgency of the situation, the scope, and characteristics of this expedition will make an extraordinary journey around our blue planet to understand its origins, the present and preserve its future.
From the tropical coral atolls to Antarctica, from the isthmuses of the Middle East to the Northwest Passage, such a study of the globe’s marine environment with today’s technologies has never been accomplished. Tara will thus perpetuate the pioneering spirit of the great explorations.
Tara Oceans’ programme brings together a unique international and multidisciplinary scientific team. More than 12 research fields will involve oceanographers, biologists, geneticists, and physicists, from the most prestigious laboratories.
Just as for its previous expeditions, Tara Oceans will cover a major program of promoting awareness and education.
On 4 and 5 September 2009, Lorient is celebrating Tara’s departure with a festival. The festivities will take place on the outdoor exhibition space of the Eric Tabarly “Cité de la Voile” (see below)