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Tara Oceans: a unique 3-year scientific expedition

Tara Oceans

On September 5, an international, multidisciplinary scientific team is leaving Lorient, France on board the ship Tara, for a three-year expedition which will cover every one of the world’s oceans. The aim: to study oceanic ecosystems, about which relatively little is known despite their prime importance for life on earth, in order to better understand how to protect them. UPMC supports this unique expedition as a scientific partner.


The oceans produce half of the oxygen that we breathe. These prairies of plankton and other micro-organisms constitute, via their photosynthetic activity, an enormous oxygen pump. But these marine organisms are also a major carbon dioxide sink. As a result, our future depends on saving the oceans.

However, this complex ecosystem remains one of the least explored fields of oceanography and therefore the least well-known to man, despite its astonishing diversity. Today, this biodiversity is threatened by the major ecological upheavals of climate change and pollution.

The urgency of the situation, as well as the scope and the characteristics of the expedition, will make it an extraordinary voyage around our blue planet, to help understand its origins and its present and to preserve its future. In this way it will perpetuate the spirit of the great explorations, such as Darwin’s voyage on the Beagle, which allowed him to write his master work, “The Origin of Species”.

On September 4 and 5, 2009, Lorient is celebrating Tara’s departure with various festivities in front of the Cité de la Voile Eric Tabarly. Consult the programNouvelle fenêtre.

Find out more about:

- the Tara Oceans expeditionNouvelle fenêtre

- the scientific teamNouvelle fenêtre



28/08/09