Plankton Planet: Oceanography 2.0

© E. Reynaud/Tara Expéditions

Initiatives, partnerships and celebrities: Tara Expeditions praises the many collaborative, inspirational and engaging projects put together in support of the oceans. Zoom on Plankton Planet

Plankton Planet: Oceanography 2.0

Plankton Planet is a pilot project close to Tara Expeditions’ heart, not only in its scientific scope but also in the citizen responsibilities it encourages among sailors. Tara Oceans sequenced a vast number of plankton samples taken from 200 different points across the globe between 2009 and 2012. Given that plankton is the only continuous ecosystem on the surface of the Earth, pursuing plankton sampling operations is critical if we are to understand it. With Plankton Planet, the adventure sails on.

More and more leisure sailors are committing to sampling plankton whilst following a simple, affordable, yet rigorous protocol. These enthusiasts, whether beginner researchers or old hands, have a legitimate place in the domain of “citizen science” and help structure a network of international sailors. Oceanography like this is founded on an inexpensive and non-polluting network which acts in close cooperation with international scientists who subsequently analyse samples and measure plankton biodiversity and how it changes over time and space. A useful tool for predicting the evolution of the oceans. Following in Tara Oceans footsteps, this is an encouraging initiative which aims to preserve the memory of our oceans for many generations to come.



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