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.

© Fondation Tara Océan

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.

Mission Map of Tara 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

  • 32archipelagos studied

  • 58 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.

Tara Pacific : en haut du mat une chercheuse tient un corail.

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.

© Fondation Tara Océan

Scientific publications


Coral Li/Mg thermometry: Caveats and constraints

Cuny-Guirriec, K. et al.

Tara Pacific

The team

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

Denis Allemand, co-directeur scientifique

Denis Allemand

Scientific Co-Director of Tara Pacific & Scientific Directeur of the Monaco Scientific Centre

Serge Planes, co-directeur scientifique

Serge Planes

Scientific Co-director Tara Pacific & Research Director at the CNRS

Immerse in the expedition

Culture Ocean

Vue de la goélette tara en navigation

Tara Oceans

In search of plankton, from the equator to the poles

Coucher de soleil sur la goélette Tara prise dans la glace

Tara Arctic

In search of plankton, from the equator to the poles

Our partners

Major partner