Humans cannot live without the ocean, on which we are increasingly reliant for food, energy and material resources. Investing in the ocean is an investment in our survival, environmental experts say. With that in mind, two French organisations driven by the same values of exploration, precision and excellence have joined forces to study the ocean — 95% of its depths are still a mystery — and understand it better so they can create change.
Since 2003, Fondation Tara Ocean has been carrying out expeditions with international scientific research institutes to push the frontiers of ocean knowledge and raise awareness of the importance and the frailty of the waters surrounding us. These partnerships have led to 300 scientific publications and the discovery of 150 million genes from the marine universe, among other achievements.
Bell & Ross, founded in 1992, has collaborated with top engineers and watchmakers to design reliable precision instruments that enable professionals to push the limits of depth as they work in the marine world. The Hydromax, launched in 1997 and certified at 11,100m, and the BR 02, a professional diver’s watch released in 2007, are two fine examples.
Both companies are combining their skills in a partnership that translates expertise into action: Expeditions on board the foundation’s namesake schooner bring researchers, sailors and scientists together to share knowledge and views as they study the ocean and understand it better. Photographers, journalists, artists, designers and other talents have been invited to join the team, to complete Tara’s 360° vision of the ocean.
The Fondation Tara Ocean is a floating laboratory, where a crew of 14 work, sleep and sail around the planet. The schooner has clocked more than 270,000 nautical miles, or half a million kilometres, over 12 expeditions and more than 250 stopovers in 56 countries, often facing challenges posed by temperature and geography. But pushing the limits of the extreme is a worthwhile quest because the future of mankind and the ocean are intimately linked.
This article first appeared on Jan 9, 2023 in The Edge Malaysia.