Tara at anchor at Palawan. (Philippines, February 2018)
Tara at anchor at Palawan. (Philippines, February 2018)

Coral mission aboard the sailboat Tara in the Philippines

#Philippines #Palawan #Tara #Sulubaaï #Philippines #Palawan #Tara #Tara #Sulubaaï

  Tara Pacific Expedition - February 2018

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

Tara. Two syllables that roll from one side to the other... This is the name of an extraordinary boat, an oceanographic sailing ship that is currently (2018) criss-crossing the waters of the Pacific. On board, passionate sailors and researchers are trying to unlock the secrets of the coral reefs.

Tara Pacific Expedition

Launched in 2016, this expedition, named Tara PacificThe project will be completed in the fall of 2018. With my reporter's cap on, I was fortunate enough to be able to embark with a team of scientists and spend a week on board with them for a story in February 2018.

I took a flight to the Philippines, where I joined them near Palawan, in the waters of the small island of Pangatalan. In the heart of Shark Fin Bay, we discovered the coral reef restoration work being done by the Sulubaai Foundationcreated by a French couple, before crossing the China Sea to Vietnam aboard the Tara...an unforgettable adventure.

Upon my return, I wrote a series of articles in Ouest-France, the newspaper I work forwhich were released in February and March 2018. I have also published a long-format report in the magazine n ° 15 Dive! (May-June 2018) which has just been released on newsstands.

Article on the island of Pangatalan published in the evening edition (Ouest-France)
Article on the island of Pangatalan and the Sulubaai Foundation, published in the digital evening edition d’Ouest-France.
Article published in the supplement La Mer Notre Avenir (West-France)
Article published in the supplement La Mer Notre Avenir (Ouest-France)
Article published in Sunday Ouest-France.
Story printed in dimanche Ouest-France.
My report on Tara Pacific in the magazine Plonge! (No. 15, May-June 2018)
My report on the Tara Pacific mission, in the magazine Plongez! (No. 15, May-June 2018).

To discover above, my report for the magazine Plongez! Eight pages in issue 15 of May-June 2018.

Here are the links to all these articles published in 2018:

→ Tara Pacific examines coral to protect the ocean and humans
(Ouest-France special issue "The sea our future")

→ Live aboard Tara: a great human and scientific adventure
(dimanche Ouest-France)

→ They bought an island to save the coral
(the evening edition of Ouest-France)

→ Tara Pacific, an extraordinary expedition for coral
(Plongez ! Magazine #15 May-June 2018, printed or digital edition)

They bought an island to save the coral

Frédéric Tardieu sums up the birth of this environmental project in Pangatalan as follows: "Originally, we had a dream to erase the damage done by man on this island.... Today it has become a struggle to make this tiny place on Earth a lung of biodiversity. "

Originally from Marseilles, he and his wife Chris created in 2012 the Sulubaai Foundation in the Philippines, a year after they set their sights on the small island of Pangatalan, near Palawan. At an age when others are beginning to think about retirement, the couple left everything in France to devote themselves to the restoration of the island, whose reef and vegetation were devastated.

The Sulubaaï Foundation team. From left to right: marine biologist Thomas Pavy, founders Fred and Chris Tardieu, manager Michèle Wey. (Philippines, February 2018)
The Sulubaaï Foundation team. From left to right: marine biologist Thomas Pavy, founders Fred and Chris Tardieu, manager Michèle Wey. (Philippines, February 2018)

In 2016, the Tardieu family and the Sulubaai Foundation team succeeded in transforming an area of about 40 hectares around the island into a maritime protected area (MPA), where fishing is prohibited. They have reconstructed an artificial reef with coral cuttings. They have surrounded themselves with marine biologists, hosted scientific missions, and raised awareness among the inhabitants of the villages of Shark Fin Bay about the protection of mangroves and the coastline, both on land and underwater...

I tell the whole story in an article published on March 15, 2018 in the digital evening edition digitalOuest-France, I give you the link here:

→ They bought an island to save the coral

Discover below, in addition, the video report on Pangatalan and the Sulubaai Foundation, made during our stopover by my sister Noëlie Pansiot, correspondent on board for Tara :

More about the Sulubaai Foundation

UPDATE 2019. I also invite you to listen this episode of May 22, 2019 from the excellent podcast On the roads of Asiawho gives the floor to Fred Tardieu (player below).

He tells with infectious enthusiasm of the incredible adventure he and his wife Chris embarked on, with the help of young diver and marine biologist Thomas Pavy, to transform the island and obtain the status of Marine Protected Area (MPA) around Pangatalan :

UPDATE, FEBRUARY 2020. The 20H of TF1 broadcast, Sunday, February 16, 2020, a report on Pangatalan and the environmental missions underway promoted by the Sulubaai Foundation, including the repopulation of reefs with post-larvae of fish.

I put you below the video of the report published on Facebook by the company ECOCEAN, based in Montpellier and specialized in this field:

UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 2020. As for me, two years after the report I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I returned to Pangatalan in March 2020, during my holidays this time, just before the border closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

I was able to dive around Pangatalan in the Shark Fin Bay and discuss with Frédéric Tardieu the current and future missions of the Sulubaaï Foundation, including the new project Sea Academywhich is to last three years, until 2023. Objective: to develop several small MPAs (Marine Protected Areas) on a human scale, to restore coral and mangroves and, above all, to bring back fish using innovative methods .

In September 2020, the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM) officially validated its financial support for the Sea Academy project. This news allowed me to devote a new article in the digital evening edition digitalOuest-France to this formidable initiative, which brings hope to marine ecosystems. The link is here:

→ Sea Academy, an academy of the sea for Filipino fishing villages

The Pangatalan reef and the surrounding waters are now a marine protected area (MPA) thanks to the Sulubaaï Foundation. (Philippines, February 2018)
In the heart of Shark Fin Bay, off the coast of Palawan, Pangatalan Reef and the surrounding waters are now a Marine Protected Area (MPA) thanks to the Sulubaai Foundation. (Philippines, February 2018)
Pangatalan Island, near Palawan, has once again become a little tropical gem, thanks to the efforts of the Sulubaai Foundation. (Philippines, February 2018)
The island of Pangatalan, near Palawan, has once again become a small tropical gem. (Philippines, February 2018)
At the end of the pontoon, in Pangatalan, underwater life is gradually regaining its rights, thanks to the efforts of the Sulubaaï foundation. (Philippines, March 2018)
At the end of the pontoon, in Pangatalan, underwater life is gradually taking back its rights, thanks to the efforts of the Sulubaaï Foundation. (Philippines, March 2018)
The coral cutting project of the Sulubaaï Foundation in Pangatalan: the coral is fixed on special concrete supports, without plastic or chemical, called SRP modules. The main objective is to reconstruct the reef damaged or destroyed by dynamite fishing. (Philippines, February 2018)
The coral cuttings project of the Sulubaaï Foundation in Pangatalan: the coral is fixed on special concrete supports, produced on site, without chemical products, called SRP modules (Sulu Reef Prothesis). The main objective is to reconstruct the reef damaged or destroyed by dynamite fishing. (Philippines, February 2018)
Tara scientists discover in snorkeling the coral cuttings project of the Sulubaaï Foundation in Pangatalan. (Philippines, February 2018)
Tara scientists discover in snorkeling the coral cuttings project of the Sulubaaï Foundation in Pangatalan. (Philippines, February 2018)
Marine biologist Thomas Pavy, from the Sulubaaï Foundation, inspects the coral cuttings attached to the SRP modules. (Philippines, February 2018)
Marine biologist Thomas Pavy, from the Sulubaaï Foundation, inspects the coral cuttings attached to the SRP modules. (Philippines, February 2018)
Coral has started to develop again on the now protected Pangatalan reef. (Philippines, February 2018)
Coral has started to develop again on the now protected Pangatalan reef. (Philippines, February 2018)

Other images of the adventure

This fantastic experience of February 2018 in the Philippines took me a little further, as far as Vietnam. Because after the stopover in Pangatalan, the schooner Tara crossed the South China Sea earlier than planned and I stayed on board... which was not on the programme initially!

That's how I discovered what it was like to spend several days on the high seas, on a round-hulled sailboat, when you're not used to sailing at all. I didn't think I was prone to seasickness, but I've become very humble in the face of the open sea again...

🤮 😂

Maybe I'll tell you about it some day... 

😎

The oceanographic sailboat Tara seen from above, in the middle of the coral reefs of the archipelago of Palawan. (Philippines, February 2018)
The oceanographic sailboat Tara seen from above, in the middle of the coral reefs of the Palawan archipelago. (Philippines, February 2018)
Tara at anchor at Palawan. (Philippines, February 2018)
Tara at anchor in Palawan. (Philippines, February 2018)
Tara at anchor at Palawan. (Philippines, February 2018)
The schooner at anchor in Palawan. (Philippines, February 2018)
Tara's team, always ready to get wet! (Philippines, February 2018)
The team of Tara, always ready to get wet! (Philippines, February 2018)
Snorkelling session to observe the coral tables in the waters of Palawan. (Philippines, February 2018)
Snorkelling session to observe the coral tables in the waters of Palawan. (Philippines, February 2018)
End of the Philippines crossing in Vietnam. (February 2018)
End of the Philippines crossing in Vietnam. (February 2018)

  Tara Pacific Expedition - February 2018

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