Exploring the Ocean to understand, Sharing to change

Studying and protecting the Ocean means taking care of the global system of our planet

Our future depends on the good health of the Ocean.

The Tara Ocean Foundation, the first foundation in France to be recognised as promoting the public interest and devoted to the ocean, is developing an innovative and unprecedented open science which should enable prediction and better planning for the impact of climate change.
It uses this very high level scientific expertise to raise awareness and educate young people, to mobilise political decision makers and enable developing countries to access this new knowledge.
The schooner Tara is a floating laboratory that has already covered more than 570 000 kilometres since 2003, stopping off in more than 60 countries on 12 expeditions carried out in collaboration with the best international laboratories and organisations (CNRS, CEA, EMBL, PSL, MIT, NASA, etc.).
Their partner laboratories have produced more than 200 publications in renowned international scientific journals.

Learn more about the foundation
  • 150 million New marine genes discovered
  • 130 000 students benefit from the educational platform each year
  • 1 Special UN observer
  • 12 Expeditions since 2003
© François Aurat
Since their official deployment in 2015 by the United Nations, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) constitute a global framework which guides all actions of the Tara Ocean Foundation, especially through SDG 14 (life below water) to “conserve and sustainably manage our Oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”. This translates concretely into the Tara expeditions and research carried out by our partner laboratories; educational and awareness-raising actions with schools and general public; advocacy work with institutions and stakeholders; and cooperation projects with developing countries.
In schools

Echos d’Escale

Discovering the challenges of sustainable development in the world, through the ports of call of the schooner Tara
Are you a teacher?
Educational operations

From schooner to lab!

Your students will discover current environmental challenges, will be actors in the experimental approach using real data, and will understand the research professions.
Structure of the Arctic Ocean
Structure of the Arctic Ocean
Analysis of plankton DNA
Analysis of plankton DNA
Melting of Arctic sea ice
Melting of Arctic sea ice
Educational programmes
The ocean in a different light

Culture Océan

Trapped in the ice

Trapped in the ice

Discover the account of Marion Lauters, student and quartermaster on Tara during Arctic drift..

From rivers to the ocean, the itinerary of a harmful plastic

From rivers to the ocean, the itinerary of a harmful plastic

France Culture records the meetings of minds of two guests from different backgrounds, but with complementary concerns: the writer and academician Erik Orsenna, one of the sponsors of the Tara Ocean Foundation, and the oceanographer and biologist Gilles Boeuf, president of the scientific council of the French agency for biodiversity, and professor at the Sorbonne.

At the heart of Culture Océan

How long do you think
it takes for a plastic bag to decompose?

Back to the beginnings

The schooner Tara

A schooner designed for scientific research and defence of the environment. The Tara has been sailing the seas and oceans of the world since 1989 to discover the ocean floor.
Mission Microbiomes
Explore the boat
Polar station

Tara Polar Station

A drifting polar scientific base dedicated to the long-term study of the Arctic until 2045.
Tara Polar Station
Our shop

Our shop Support Tara’s missions

Isothermal bottle
Isothermal bottle Accessories 35 €
Support us

Climb aboard with us

There are a thousand ways to help us and to protect the ocean. Find out how to take part with us.

Our partners

Major partner