AFTER MORE THAN FOUR YEARS SAILING AROUND THE WORLD AND THE ARCTIC, TARA WILL BE ON MISSION IN THE MEDITERRANEAN FROM MAY TO NOVEMBER 2014, WITH TWO OBJECTIVES: TO ACCOMPLISH A SCIENTIFIC STUDY CONCERNING PLASTIC POLLUTION, AND TO PROMOTE AWARENESS OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION.
450 million people live along the Mediterranean coasts in 22 bordering countries. Due to its geography and climate, the Mediterranean Sea hosts close to 8% of global marine biodiversity, although representing only 0.8% of the ocean’s surface. Today’s cities are saturated and almost 30% 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.
This expedition, the schooner’s tenth since 2003, is an opportunity for Tara Expeditions to promote the efforts of local and regional associations* on many environmental issues concerning this almost-closed sea.