Discover the account of Marion Lauters, student and quartermaster on Tara during Arctic drift..
An expedition with unprecedented scope
How does this fragile ecosystem work?
How able is it to resist and adapt to climate change and local pressures?
Sharing the importance of these coral reefs for biodiversity and local populations?
Championing the protection of these ecosystems at the Convention for Biological Diversity.
Having left its home port of Lorient in May 2016, the schooner Tara carried out the most ambitious scientific campaign ever undertaken on coral reefs. Two and a half years of expedition, more than 100,000 km covered, and 2,677 scientific dives, enough to meet the objective set at the start: to inspect the coral on the scale of the biggest ocean in the world, the Pacific.
In day-to-day life
The internal workings of Tara Pacific
The unique character of this expedition lies firstly in its ‘transversal’ approach to a very extensive geographical area, i.e. the Pacific, where more than 40% of the world’s coral reefs are concentrated. Such an approach had never been tried before on this scale.
2 yearsof expedition
100 000 kmcovered on the planet
36 000samples collected
Serge Planes, Scientific Director of the expedition
After our initial observations,
it seems clear that the future condition of coral reefs will depend on our climatic trajectory and our ability to protect the reefs locally from local practices and pollution.
40% of the world’s coral reefs are concentrated in the Pacific Ocean.
Contrasting states of health depending on the reefs
Currently, predictions on the evolution of coral reefs suggest that they will deteriorate until climate change is stabilised and new types of reef assemblies stand up to the planet’s temperature conditions.
The data from Tara Pacific offer a unique opportunity to distinguish local disruptions (pollution, urbanisation, sedimentation due to soil erosion) from global negative effects (global warming, acidification of the oceans) and to measure the state of health of coral populations subject to these two types of disruption.
Relay aboard the schooner
On deck, a team of interdisciplinary scientists coordinated by the CNRS and the Monaco Scientific Centre: 100 scientists involved from 23 institutes in 8 different countries.
Labs & partners
Scientific Co-Director of Tara Pacific & Scientific Directeur of the Monaco Scientific Centre
Tara Pacific & Research Director at the CNRS
Rebecca Vega Thurber
Université d’Oregon, USA
Université Nationale de Galway, Irelande
Université du Maine, USA
Université de Tsukuba, Japon