The Tara Ocean Foundation

© F.Aurat / Fondation Tara Océan

The Tara Ocean Foundation, first recognized public interest foundation in France dedicated to the world’s oceans, is leading a scientific revolution: The Foundation has developed an open, innovative Ocean science that will enable us to predict, anticipate and better manage tomorrow’s climate risks. We use high-level scientific expertise to raise awareness and educate young people, mobilize policy makers at the highest level, and enable emerging and developing countries to access the latest knowledge about the Ocean. A veritable floating laboratory, the research schooner Tara has already traveled more than 400,000 kilometers, making stopovers in more than 60 countries during 4 major expeditions, carried out in collaboration with international laboratories of excellence (CNRS, CEA, PSL, EMBL, MIT , NASA, and others).The Tara Ocean Foundation is a Special Observer at the UN and actively participates in the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda. We want to make the ocean a shared responsibility.

Our major expeditions


Arctic drift 113 years after Nansen’s 1893 expedition


First global study of the planktonic ecosystem

Tara Méditerranée

Study of plastic pollution’s effects on the marine ecosystem

Tara Pacific

Study of coral reefs and their capacity of adaptation to climate change

Mission microplastics, 2019
A 6 months mission on 10 European rivers to the origins of plastic pollution at sea

The Tara Ocean Foundation in a few words 

• 12 scientific expeditions 

• 400,000 km traveled, making stopovers in more than 60 countries

• More than 80,000 samples collected

• More than 100 scientific publications

• 70,000 children were invited abord Tara

• 2 millions visitors during our expeditions


The ocean is an ongoing ecosystem that we must understand and preserve as a whole. We are developing an open, global, multidisciplinary, innovative science. The discoveries are transforming the way we comprehend the ocean:

• 100,000 new marine species and more than 150 million genes discovered from the marine world

• Featured in the journal Science in 2015 and the subject of more than 100 scientific publications


• More than 70,000 children were invited aboard Tara, in France and around the world

• More than 100,000 students followed educational programs developed by the Foundation

• In 2018, in partnership with the Education Nationale, 390 classes are following Tara Ocean Foundation programs in France and abroad.

To learn more, click here or send us an email.

Convincing decision makers to consider the Ocean a shared responsibility

In the era of “fake news”, misinformation and a certain environmental skepticism, only top-level science will enable us to act sustainably for the planet. Thanks to Tara’s scientific expertise and our status as Special Observer at the UN, we are developing a citizens’ advocacy campaign to implement concrete solutions for governance of the high seas, sustainable management of marine resources, as well as many actions concerning plastic pollution, the Arctic and climate.