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Research yacht completes global expedition

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On Oct. 27, the French research schooner S/Y Tara returned to its home port in Lorient, Brittany, after sailing more than 53,995nm and collecting over 36,000 samples on coral reefs at 40 sites. According to the Tara Expeditions Foundation, it is the largest research campaign ever undertaken on coral reefs. The data collected is intended to help scientists understand how marine organisms adapt to disruptions in the oceanic ecosystems.

The 118-foot schooner, launched in 1989, was formerly S/Y Seamaster and owned by New Zealand’s legendary round-the-world racer Sir Peter Blake. Since 2003, scientists and crew on the renamed Tara have completed research and scientific studies ranging from plankton ecosystems around the Arctic Ocean to plastic pollution of the Mediterranean. The yacht stopped briefly in Miami in the summer of 2016.

In the past two and a half years, Tara has made 70 stopovers in 30 countries and 40 archipelagos on its 11th expedition. Traveling from the Panama Canal to the Japanese Archipelago in 2016-2017 and from New Zealand to China in 2017-2018, researchers aboard explored the most urbanized coastal areas of the Pacific Ocean and the most remote reefs in the world, and made 2,677 dives to collect samples, according to the foundation.

To follow Tara online, go to oceans.taraexpeditions.org.

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