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50 years for the Ocean

On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Institut Océanographique Paul Ricard has a two-fold aim : to pursue its mission of Building Awareness, and to provide support for young researchers through its scientific patronage project : Take Ocean For Future.

Launched on 23rd June by Patricia Ricard, President of the Institute, and Alexandre Ricard, Chief Executive Officer of Pernod Ricard Group, the aim of the scientific patronage project "Take Ocean For Future" is to support research by young scientists for the benefit of the oceans.

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Lancement Take Ocean For Future. De gauche à droite, Paul Watson, Pierre Yves Cousteau, Jean- Charles de Castelbajac, Françoise Gaill, Alexandre Ricard et Patricia Ricard

Supported by Captain Paul Watson, Dr Françoise Gaill, CNRS Senior Researcher, Pierre-Yves Cousteau and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, this initiative covers a four-fold field of action, of which the first three directly are focused on providing support for researchers :
An appeal for scientific patronage in oceanography ;
Support for oceanography research, especially for young scientists working in university research teams throughout the world ;
The establishment of a scientific residence for young researchers on the island of les Embiez (near Toulon, SE France), the headquarters of the Institut Océanographique Paul Ricard.

Take Ocean For Future has the further aim of becoming a platform of providing information and developing exchanges between researchers, industry, non-profit associations, institutions and the general public.

The initial aim of the founder : to awaken and to build awareness

The project is thus in phase with the initial aim of the founder, to awaken and to build awareness, by creating a shared dynamic focused on the major challenges facing our Mediterranean Sea and all the world’s oceans.

In the face of climate warming and the threats that weigh upon our environment, “The Ocean”, as Patricia Ricard reminded us, “is our future. It is also our memory, and above all our mirror. We will have the Ocean that we deserve”. And if it is clear today that the protection of the ocean is today an absolute necessity, Paul Ricard, 50 years ago, was a visionary. Following the discharge of ‘red sludge’ off Cassis, one of the first industrial pollution incidents in the Mediterranean, he founded with Alain Bombard the Institut Océanographique. Its mission : to know the sea, to spread knowledge of it and to protect it.
“The most effective combat”, he said at the time, “is to set an example”.

50 years of research on the Mediterranean, a model ocean

The Institut Océanographique Paul Ricard undertakes research focused on the Mediterranean, a true reservoir of biodiversity, considered by scientists as a true model for the ocean, since it embodies all the challenges that man must deal with in order to protect the world ocean : our best ally to fight against climate change.

The research at the Institute is focused on thinking up solutions based on nature, studying the reactions of organisms and their impact on the environment, with the aim of developing a better relationship between man and the sea, based on an ecosystemic approach. Research which seeks local solutions capable of meeting global challenges.

For 50 years, Institute has constantly sought to master new fields of research :
studies of the quality of coastal waters and campaigns to support the development of sewage treatment plants ;
developing the bases for new kinds of aquaculture ;
participation in the development of a natural process for the degradation of black tides by marine bacteria ;
studies of the impact of the increase of CO2 on organisms ;
the introduction of a moratorium to protect the dusky grouper ;
experimental nurseries and restoration of the environment ;

Today, the Institute enjoys the status of a research centre of international renown. The research carried out there was already a few steps ahead of the recommendations delivered at COP21, which for the first time highlighted the fundamental role of the oceans in climate regulation : an ocean in a good state of health means a protected climate. A message that the Institute delivered during the negotiations, as a member of the Ocean & Climate Platform, under the leadership of its President.

A Day for the Mediterranean

On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Institut Océanographique Paul Ricard has organized on July 9th a day devoted to solutions and innovations for the Mediterranean Sea.

A scientific conference entitled ‘Builders of Awareness : discussions on the Mediterranean Sea – a model ocean’, will bring together participants from the research community and those mobilized for the oceans, among them Dr Françoise Gaill, CNRS Senior Researcher, Scientific Coordinator of the Ocean & Climate Platform ; Professor Nardo Vicente, Scientific Counsellor at the Institute ; Dr Gilles Bœuf, Scientific Counsellor to the French Minister of the Environment, Energy and the Sea.

This anniversary will also be an opportunity to see two new exhibitions, which will be inaugurated on Friday July 8th : ‘A dive into the heart of the Mediterranean : ocean in miniature – model ocean’, and Seahorse. There will also be a show, Laborigins by Marie-Odile Monchicourt, and a concert.