By Foibe Paavo
SWAKOPMUND, June 7 –The French research schooner Tara arrived in Walvis Bay last Wednesday for a five-day visit to the ocean before continuing northward with her journey along Africa’s West Coast on Monday.
The vessel, sailing under the French flag, is on a scientific mission on behalf of the Tara Ocean Foundation, a French environmental research and conservation organisation working to protect the ocean.
After covering more than 53 000 km, Tara has embarked on the final stage of the microbiomes mission, which is the study of the West African Coast.
The scientific team studies the world’s most micro-organism producing areas, such as the Benguela stream, Senegalese coast and the Atlantic Ocean.
The laboratory is currently on a mission to carry out a study of the Benguela current flowing along Namibia’s coast.
The laboratory boat started off its journey in Cape Town, South Africa. The research trip has included the Orange River and the Namib Desert and will continue to Matadi the chief seaport of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the mouth of the Congo River. The voyage will ultimately cover seven countries as she sails north to Angola, Congo Brazzaville, Cambia and Senegal.
During its five-day stopover in Walvis Bay, the marine and scientific team organised guided tours of the schooner to document and show the floating laboratory. A film festival at the Swakopmund Museum on Sunday screened Tara Ocean Foundation’s educational film and short films of the Nature Environmental Wildlife Filmmaking (NEWF) to raise awareness about the planet and to engage in conversations about the importance of cinema. – Namibia Daily News