On land and at sea, the entire team of the Tara Expeditions Foundation wishes you a new year full of discoveries, sharing and solidarity.
2016 was occupied by the Tara Pacific expedition’s departure, setting up scientific protocols aboard, and fascinating encounters with inhabitants of the Pacific islands. Here’s a brief retrospective, before setting sail for 2017.
On May 28, 2016 Tara departed from her home port of Lorient to study the biodiversity of coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean. Panama, Colombia, Chile, Polynesia, Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, Wallis – dream destinations that in certain places provided our first observations of the sorry state of coral reefs, severely impacted by rising temperatures. More than 3,000 samples have already been collected and nearly 400 dives were carried out by the Tara teams.
Since her departure, the schooner has welcomed aboard more than 1,000 school children and offered a guided tour to more than 600 adult visitors. Stopovers in the Pacific islands were the occasion to meet the local people and learn about their culture and ancestral traditions.
Having achieved an important victory for the Ocean at the COP21, the Tara team was present at the COP22 in Marrakech to support the commitments of nations in favor of better protection of the oceans. An important collaboration with the FFEM (Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial) developed around a project of scientific cooperation to encourage the transfer of skills and sharing of data from the Tara Oceans expedition between the countries of the north and south.
Heading into 2017
Tara will begin the new year by setting sail for Japan with arrival in Ogasawara scheduled for early February. Stopovers in Japan promise rich exchanges over a 3-month period entirely devoted to educational outreach activities in Fukuoka, Onomichi, Kobe, Nagoya, Yokohama, Tokyo, Shimoda, Shikine, Kochi and Okinawa – from February to April 2017. The schooner will pass the spring equinox in the land of the rising sun before reaching southeast Asia next May.
This first year of the Tara Pacific expedition was rich in discoveries which we enjoyed sharing with you and which would not have been possible without your support. The whole team of the Tara Expedition Foundation thanks you for accompanying us, and wishes you a new year full of discoveries, sharing and solidarity.
Johanna Sanson, for the land/sea crew