Initiated by the Tara Foundation and coordinated by the CNRS, Centre Scientifique de Monaco and CEA, the expedition aimed to better understand how the marine world is adapting to the upheavals in its ecosystems. After 883 days at sea and studying 40 archipelagos during 2,677 dives all over the Pacific Ocean, it managed to collect 36,000 coral reef samples.
"Engaging with the Tara Expeditions Foundation, which seeks to understand the impact of climate change on our oceans, raise the awareness both young people and the general public and encourage decision-makers to find solutions, was an obvious move for our Foundation, explains Thierry Vandevelde. “Today, our support for Tara continues with the "Plastics in the Mediterranean" program.”
"Coral, a cousin of the anemone, is a symbiotic relationship between an animal and an algae. It is the largest bioconstruction on the planet. We observed a patchwork of systems with striking contrasts between healthy reefs and others in poor health... Coral reefs have degraded but are not dead, they are resisting. Their natural resilience needs to be encouraged to give them time to rebuild. This is both essential and the priority," explained Serge Planes, research director at the CNRS and scientific director of the Tara Pacific mission.
Tara Pacific in figures :
♦ 2½ years from May 2016 to October 2018
♦ 30 countries visited, 70 stopovers and 100,000 km travelled
♦ 40 archipelagos analysed and compared
♦ 36,000 samples taken
♦ 100 scientists from 26 research laboratories in 8 different countries succeeded one another
Coral in figures :
♦ 30% of the known marine biodiversity (representing 0.2% of the ocean surface) is sheltered by coral reefs
♦ 46% of the reefs are in good health, 15% are likely to disappear within 10 years, 20% are threatened with extinction within 40 years, 20% have been destroyed.
Pour en savoir plus :
> Tara, the watchman of ocean resources
> The Tara Pacific expedition presents its first results at Veolia headquarter
> The Veolia Foundation website and its support for the Tara Foundation expeditions
> Planet Veolia: Tara Expeditions Plastics in the Mediterranean program
> The Tara Expeditions Foundation: return of the Tara Pacific expedition, unexpected observations
> Plastics and oceans: the circular economy in action