The oceans cover 2/3 of our planet and produce half the oxygen we breathe through plankton and micro-organisms still unknown to mankind.
The Tara Oceans expedition (2009-2013) attempt to provide information on this unexplored universe and to answer the most pressing issues on the protection of our planet.
The expedition bring together an international team of scientists, but also of sailors and journalists, whose task will be to collect data that will be analysed by a consortium of international laboratories and institutes. The goal is to create a database that will combine the already existing knowledge and the discoveries made during the expedition.
More than 12 research areas will involve oceanographers, biologists, geneticists, and physicists from the most prestigious worldwide laboratories. 50 laboratories and institutes will be mobilised in 15 countries. Thus, more than 150 scientists are directly involved in the expedition.
Tara made 50 calls in 40 countries around the world, and travelled 150,000 km (practically, half of the Earth to Moon journey!).
Through this adventure, Tara Expeditions marks out a new programme and pursues its objectives:
- Proposing to scientists an outstanding observation and experimentation platform. Tara Oceans was equipped with the most advanced technologies in terms of observations and analyses; to the measurement and sampling equipment an imaging platform will be added that will allow observing these invisible to the naked eye beings that populate the oceans. Tara layed the foundations for an exhaustive description of marine ecosystems.
- Promoting awareness to the general public and particularly to children the environmental issues and provide them new scientific knowledge. To achieve this goal, TV programmes, documentaries, publications, exhibitions as well as educational activities and animations within schools will be distributed during the expedition.
Just like previous expeditions, the schooner sailed under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).