From November 9 to 13
Tara will stopover in the harbor of Portimão, Portugal, from Saturday, November 8 to Thursday, November 13, 2014. Guided tours of the schooner with the crew are planned for school children. A conference about pollution in the Mediterranean will be given for the general public at the Museum of Portimão.
- Monday, November 10 at 15h: Tara’s captain Martin Hertau will welcome city officials and the press aboard the schooner, in the port of Portimão.
- Monday, November 10, at 17h: Conference “Microplastics: New Impact on the Marine Environment” at the Museum of Portimão (free and open to all).
The Mediterranean is an almost closed sea where the impact of human activities is amplified. Demographic pressure of 450 million people living near the coast, and the attractiveness of tourist areas make the Mediterranean the 4th most polluted marine area in the world.
Macroplastics are only the visible part of the iceberg. The plastic is not decomposing but fragmenting. Large pieces of plastic waste split up into millions of micro particles, part of which form drifting substrates and become millions of hotspots for the development of bacteria and viruses. Because of their small size (0,3mm – 5mm), these particles are easily integrated into the marine food chain at its base. Chemical compounds can accumulate in the tissues of organisms, and pathogens can contaminate healthy systems or zones. The main aim of Tara this year is to quantify and qualify the impact of plastic pollution on Mediterranean ecosystems – from plankton to fish.
Conference by Amanda Elineau, marine biologist, CNRS-UPMC, Oceanographic Observatory of Villefranche-sur-Mer (France)
- From Monday, November 10 to Wednesday, November 12: schools from Portimão, Lagos, Albufeira and Boliqueim visit the boat.
- Thursday, November 13 at 12 noon: Tara departs for Péniche (Portugal) before returning to Lorient (France), end of the Tara Mediterranean expedition.