The Tara Ocean Foundation is proud to share with the general public the first scientific observations made during the 2019 Microplastics Mission. Our new Blue Book describes highlights of the schooner’s 6-month voyage on major rivers in Europe (meeting with 20,000 French and European citizens along the way) and explains future research projects. Through this Blue Book, we also want to make strong policy recommendations for stopping the flux of plastic waste from land to the sea.
Publication : march 2020 – IN FRENCH ONLY
Report on Tara‘s 6-month mission, sailing up 9 of Europe’s major rivers
The 2019 Microplastics Mission was carried out from May 23 to November 23, 2019 — a 6000 miles expedition designed to study 9 of Europe’s largest rivers through the collection of nearly 2,700 samples. The goals of this unique scientific project, conducted by 19 laboratories and coordinated by the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), are to identify sources of pollution, understand how plastic in rivers is fragmented into microparticles, and the impacts of this plastic pollution on marine biodiversity, and ultimately on human health.
Beyond the mission’s scientific aspects, the challenge associated with plastics at sea is to raise awareness and encourage adults and children to act. During Tara’s 18 stopovers, including 12 in France, more than 10,000 people boarded the schooner. Multiple tours and events were organized to share our passion, as well as the scientists’ and team members’ observations.
Plastics at sea, solutions are found on land
For the Tara Ocean Foundation, scientific findings on plastic pollution are now indisputable. To respond to the emergency associated with marine pollution, we must act quickly but thoughtfully, based on solid knowledge and concrete facts, by addressing the problem at its source. Reduction of single-use plastics, improvement of collection and recycling, development of eco-designed packaging, replacement of problematic materials —solutions are numerous and must complement each other. The objective of the research carried out aboard the schooner Tara is to contribute to public debate and guide action. From Science to action, there’s only one step if we want to take it!
The Tara Ocean Foundation wants especially to thank the Office français de la biodiversité (French Office for Biodiversity) and the Ministère de la transition écologique et solidaire (Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition) for supporting the publication of Tara’s Blue Book: Tracing the Origins of Plastic Pollution. Sincere thanks to all the Tara Ocean Foundation’s partners.