Du 17 au 27 septembre 2012

Press release

After Dublin and before Paris, the French scientific research vessel Tara arrived in London on September 17th for a ten-day stay. The schooner has just completed a two-and-a-half year, 70,000-mile voyage across the Atlantic, Pacific, Antarctic and Indian Oceans, investigating marine ecosystems and biodiversity under the impact of climate change.

Formerly Sir Peter Blake’s “Seamaster”, since 2003, Tara belongs to  agnès b and Etienne Bourgois, COO of agnès b. Tara is on course to alert  the public to the fast upheavals in the oceans due to global warming  and organize scientific expeditions.

Scientists aboard Tara, mainly supported by the CNRS, EMBL, CEA*, the Veolia Foundation and EDF Foundation, have been exploring the role played by plankton in the earth’s life support system, and observing the effects of climate change on this critical base to the marine food chain.

Artists and journalists have also participated in the Tara Oceans expedition, helping to promote public awareness about the serious threats facing the world’s oceans. 21 laboratories in 10 countries are collaborating on the mission, and their research findings are being published immediately on free-access databases. It could take up to 10 years to analyse all the samples and complex data collected during the expedition. This work will eventually provide the first complete overview of the world’s plankton ecosystem.

Researchers from Tara Oceans shared their message about cherishing and protecting the world’s oceans at United Nations headquarters in New York, and at the recent Rio + 20 summit, where United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon heralded the work of Tara Oceans: “Earlier this year, I had the chance to board the Tara. The team was really inspiring. They shared so much information with me about oceans and climate change. I am really grateful that they are raising awareness around the world … and I am very proud that the United Nations is supporting them.

In May 2013 Tara will head north for a new scientific expedition, crossing through the Arctic Ocean by the northwest and northeast passages.

French fashion designer agnès b. is the main sponsor of Tara  Expeditions.  Deeply concerned by the ecological threats facing our  planet, she has funded the schooner as a platform for state-of-the-art  scientific research: “Since 2003, I have been personally committed to  this project which at the beginning may have seemed totally utopic. In  fact it has turned out to be a remarkable story. Above all our program  helps advance knowledge. Thanks to Tara’s adventures, we are succeeding  in raising young people’s awareness about the environment.”


Tuesday, September 18th at 9am
Aboard Tara – St Katharine’s Docks, 50 St Katherine’s Way, London E1 1LA.
In the presence of Etienne Bourgois, president of Tara Expeditions & Chris Bowler, scientific coordinator of Tara Oceans.
Researchers and crew will be available for interviews aboard Tara until 5 pm.

A series of events are planned in London to raise awareness about the work of the Tara Expeditions Foundation :

- Exhibition and screenings at the agnès b. covent garden shop – 35-36 Floral Street London- from September 4th to 27th

-Tara Oceans, The Secret World screening at the Maritime museum : September 20th at 12am (free. rsvp marc@taraexpeditions.org)

- Public visits : September 22nd – 23rd from 10am to 12am and then from 1pm30 to 5pm

St Katharine, SKD Marina Ltd, 50 St. Katharine Way London, E1W 1LA

- School visits : September 24th – 25th (contact marc@taraexpeditions.org)

- Climate Change evening at the Science Museum – September 26th (free)

3 talks by Chris Bowler, scientific coordinator of Tara Oceans from 7pm20 to 9pm30


Tara Expeditions Marc Domingos – marc@taraexpeditions.org and Eloïse Fontaine – eloise@taraexpeditions.org

agnès b. Emma Brunn – press@agnesbuk.co.uk

*French National Center for Scientific Research, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission and The European Molecular Biology Laboratory