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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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...