In support of science
In addition to our main goal, which is to demystify the image of the Shark and highlight its overfishing, we will participate to a citizen research program by joining the fleet of the "Astrolabe expedition” association, which aims to collaborate with sailors for the benefit of scientific research.
We will therefore carry on board kits enabling us to take part in three separate programs.
Planktidex: sampling and analysis of plankton
The scientific goal of the Planktidex program is to better understand the ecology of plankton, which plays a fundamental role in ocean life. Plankton includes bacteria, microalgae (phytoplankton), small crustaceans (zooplankton) as well as larger animals like jellyfish! Their importance is such that plankton produces 50% of the oxygen we breathe.
To better analyse the spatio-temporal distribution of the many species it consists of, we will have on board a small meshed net to regularly collect plankton on our journey. Results will be sent to the Concarneau marine biology station.
Deepcor: Program studying mesophotic coral reefs
Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems (MCE) characterise reefs located deeper than 30 metres and down to 150 metres. A growing interest in the MCE has recently emerged because of the crucial role that this ecosystem could play in the survival of corals in the face of climate change. Very few studies have been carried out on MCE worldwide because of the technical limitations in accessing this ecosystem.
Our mission will be to take advantage of our diving skills to map mesophotic reefs and improve the knowledge of their distribution while deep diving (between 30 and 65 m) during the various stages of our journey.
Ketos: Acoustic and visual study of cetaceans
KETOS is a participatory science project whose objective is to collect data that will be made available to the public and researchers, marine managers or consultants to advance the knowledge on cetaceans.
Noise pollution, degradation of habitats, collisions and by-catches are all threats endangering cetaceans. Yet, almost half of the species have been classified in the "Insufficient Data" category of the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) red list due to lack of knowledge and lack of data available. Indeed, cetaceans are distributed in all the waters around the globe. Collecting data at sea is difficult and costly. The involvement of the public can help to overcome this lack of data by supplementing spatial and temporal coverage at sea.
Our goal will be to collect visual and acoustic data on cetaceans when we come across them. To do this, we will have on board a camera coupled to a powerful lens (700mm) and an acoustic hydrophone.
In the long term, by improving the knowledge in the distribution, the relative densities and the seasonal movements of different species of cetaceans, we can contribute to the establishment of protection areas for these different species.