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

Coral mission in the Philippines with Tara and the Sulubaaï Foundation

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

  Tara Pacific Expedition - February 2018

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 


Tara. Two syllables that roll from one side to the other... This is the name of an extraordinary boat, an oceanographic sailboat that is crisscrossing the waters of the Pacific in early 2018. On board, passionate sailors and researchers who are trying to unlock the secrets of coral reefs.

Tara Pacific Expedition

Launched in 2016, this expedition, named Tara Pacific, will be completed in the fall of 2018. With my journalist hat on, I was lucky enough to be able to board with a team of scientists and spend a week on board with them for a report, in February 2018.

I flew to the Philippines, where I joined them near Palawan, in the waters of the small island of Pangatalan. In the heart of the Shark Fin Bay, we discovered the work of restoration of the coral reefs led by the Sulubaai Foundationcreated by a French couple, before crossing the China Sea to Vietnam on board Tara...an unforgettable adventure.

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

My 2018 articles on Tara and the Sulubaai Foundation

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

Here are links to all of these articles that appeared in 2018:

→ Tara Pacific examines the coral to protect the ocean and humans
(Ouest-France supplement "La mer notre avenir", March 13, 2018)

→ Live aboard Tara : a great human and scientific adventure
(Sunday West-France, February 25, 2018)

→ They bought an island to save the coral
(Ouest-France evening edition, March 15, 2018)

→ Tara Pacific, an extraordinary expedition for coral
(Magazine Dive! No. 15May-June 2018, on newsstands or in digital format).

Article on the island of Pangatalan published in the evening edition (Ouest-France)
Article on Pangatalan Island and the Sulubaai Foundation, published on March 15, 2018 in the 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 Dive! (No. 15, May-June 2018).

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

Sulubaai: they bought an island to save the coral

Frédéric Tardieu summed up the birth of his environmental project in Pangatalan, which was to become the Sulubaai Foundation : "At the beginning, we had the dream of erasing the damage caused by man on this island. Today it has become a struggle, to make this tiny place on Earth a lung of biodiversity."

Originally from Marseille, he and his wife Chris created this foundation in the Philippines in 2012, a year after they set their sights on this small island of Pangatalan, near Palawan. At an age when others are starting to think about retirement, the couple left everything in France to dedicate themselves to the restoration of the island, whose reef and vegetation had been devastated.

In 2016, the Tardieu's and the Sulubaai Foundation team managed to turn an area of about 40 hectares around the island into a marine protected area (MPA), where fishing is prohibited. They reconstituted an artificial reef with coral cuttings. They have surrounded themselves with marine biologists, hosted scientific missions, and educated 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 evening edition digitalOuest-FranceI'll give you the link here:

They bought an island to save the coral

Below are some photos brought back from my 2018 stay in Pangatalan :

The Sulubaai Foundation team. From left to right: marine biologist Thomas Pavy, founders Fred and Chris Tardieu, manager Michèle Wey (Philippines, February 2018)
The Sulubaai Foundation team. From left to right: marine biologist Thomas Pavy, founders Fred and Chris Tardieu, manager Michèle Wey (Philippines, February 2018)
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)
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 Sulubaai Foundation's coral cutting project in Pangatalan: the coral is fixed on special concrete supports, made on site, without chemicals, called SRP (Sulu Reef Prothesis) modules. The main objective is to rebuild the reef damaged or destroyed by dynamite fishing. (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)
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)
Pangatalan Island, near Palawan, has become a small tropical gem again, thanks to the efforts of the Sulubaai Foundation (Philippines, February 2018)
Pangatalan Island, near Palawan, has become a small tropical gem again. (Philippines, February 2018)

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 :

2020: return to Pangatalan for the Sea Academy project

UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 2020. Two years after the story I mentioned above, I returned to Pangatalan in March 2020, just before the borders closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I was able to dive again around the island in the Shark Fin Bay and to discuss with Frédéric Tardieu the current and future missions of the Sulubaaï Foundation, including the new Sea Academy projectwhich is scheduled to last three years until 2024.

Objective: to develop several small MPAs (marine protected areas) on a human scale, to restore the coral and mangroves and, above all, to bring back the fish thanks to innovative methods...

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

Sea Academy, a sea academy for Philippine fishing villages

My article on the Sea Academy project appeared in September 2021 in the evening edition of Ouest-France.
My article on the Sea Academy project published in September 2021 in the evening edition d'Ouest-France.

More about the Sulubaai Foundation

UPDATE, MAY 2019. I also invite you to listen this May 22, 2019 episode of the excellent podcast On the roads of Asia by Romain Lazzarotto, who gives the floor to Fred Tardieu (player below). He tells with an infectious enthusiasm the incredible adventure in which he and his wife Chris embarked, helped by the 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 20 Hours TF1 broadcasted, on Sunday February 16, 2020, a report on Pangatalan and the ongoing environmental missions promoted by the Sulubaaï Foundation, in particular the repopulation of the reefs thanks to fish post-larvae. I put you below the video of the report published on Facebook by the company ECOCEANbased in Montpellier and specialized in this field:

UPDATE, MARCH 2021. Three years after my first report in Pangatalan, Paris-Match devoted a report to Fred Tardieu and the Sulubaai Foundation, followed by a column in partnership on Europe 1. I put below the short video of Paris-Match A social networking site (with a few photos taken by me in it), where Fred Tardieu sums up everything that has been accomplished on the island since his arrival:

More pictures of the adventure

This fantastic February 2018 experience in the Philippines took me a little further, to Vietnam. Because after the stopover in Pangatalan, the schooner Tara crossed the South China Sea earlier than expected and I stayed on board... Which was not in the program, initially!

I discovered what it was like to spend several days on the high seas, on a round-hulled sailboat, when you are not used to sailing at all. I never thought I was prone to seasickness, but I became very humble again in front of the open sea...

🤮 😂

And I now have a boundless admiration for the sailors and scientists on board who live this way every day, or almost every day, because it is their job. Maybe I'll tell you about it one 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)
The schooner at anchor in Palawan. (Philippines, February 2018)
Tara's team, always ready to get wet! (Philippines, February 2018)
The team of Taraalways 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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