PIRATA: Valuable measurements around St Helena Island
estimated reading time: 3 minutes
More than 28 days since the departure, and the tiredness can be read on all faces. The scientists of the PIRATA-FR32 campaign have not had a single minute to keep a logbook or to send us some “live” news…it doesn’t matter: the focus is on watches and measurements!
Nevertheless, let’s look back at a key moment of this campaign: measurements and a stopover on the island of Saint Helena (Great Britain). A rich moment of sharing between scientists and local actors around the scientific objectives and the activities carried out at sea.
As every year, in order to be allowed to cross the Exclusive Economic Zone of the island of Saint Helena during the PIRATA campaign, work permits were required. Fortunately, thanks to good cooperation with the local authorities, these were obtained without difficulty a few weeks before arrival in the zone. An essential element of the organisation, as it is there that the deployment of the 4 PIRATA meteorological buoys located along the 10°W longitude is programmed each year. Successful deployment once again for this FR-32 campaign!
Once completed, the oceanographic vessel THALASSA was able to continue its journey a little further south, towards the island of St Helena, to carry out a series of hydrological profiles and current measurements, before anchoring in Jamestown Bay – port and capital of St Helena.
This work, which could not be carried out the previous year due to vandalism, is valuable as it contributes to the Blue Belt programme: a collaborative platform to act together and put into practice innovative solutions for the adaptation of the fisheries and aquaculture sector to climate change and for the resilience of oceans and climate.
Initiated in March 2020, IRD’s collaboration with the St Helena Research Institute was reaffirmed this year. The local administrative and scientific authorities invited on board the ship Thalassa were able to learn more about the scientific objectives of the PIRATA programme and the various activities conducted during the campaign.
After 25 years, the preliminary results of PIRATA’s work are very promising. The different partners have therefore confirmed their wish to continue this collaboration, and probably to extend it in order to contribute to the Marine Protected Areas Management Plan and to the strengthening of the Maritime Alliance of the Blue-Belt initiative.
British scientists from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Southampton and Scottish scientists from SAMS (Scottish Association for Marine Science) in Oban have embarked on a new expedition to the North Atlantic.
The RESILIENCE campaign is the site of an important innovation as for the first time, the Marion Dufresne is taking on board a floating university for the 35 days at sea. 21 Master's students from the Université de Bretagne Occidentale, the Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale, the Université Côte d'Azur, and the Nelson Mandela University (South Africa) will be supervised to experience life-size scientific work and experimental manipulations.
The RESILIENCE oceanographic campaign, led by Jean-François Ternon, a researcher from the IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement) and his partners, left Reunion Island on 19 April 2022 and reached the south-western Indian Ocean for 35 days at sea. On board the Marion Dufresne, the legendary ship of the French Oceanographic Fleet, seventy international scientists embarked to better understand the interactions between physics and biology on a small scale in the particular ocean structures of the Mozambique Channel.
A collective human adventure, an exceptional amount of data collected and the beginnings of a science of the sea concerned with its environmental impact: this is how we can sum up the success of this 2022 edition of the 32nd PIRATA oceanographic campaign.
A unique sailing boat, an international low-carbon campaign, that is a world first: it was under these favourable winds that the French sailing boat Blue Observer returned to the port of Brest in March after 96 days at sea in the North and South Atlantic.
More than 28 days since the departure, and the tiredness can be read on all faces. The scientists of the PIRATA-FR32 campaign have not had a single minute to keep a logbook or to send us some "live" news...it doesn't matter: the focus is on watches and measurements!
For several days now, the 14 scientists have been sailing for the 32nd edition of the oceanographic programme PIRATA ("Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic"). From the ship "Thalassa" of the French Oceanographic Fleet on which they have embarked, they gave us some news about their journey.
For the 25th consecutive year of the programme, the PIRATA oceanographic campaign left the port of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands on 28 February 2022.
In the spring of 2021 and despite a still complicated health context, scientists spent 42 days criss-crossing the South Atlantic Ocean with the aim of quantifying the most important marine current in the ocean circulation and climate system of our planet.
One of the scientific objectives of the SWINGS campaign was to understand the evolution and development of phytoplankton in the Southern Ocean.
48 sailors on board and 2 months at sea to collect, sample and filter water, with this main objective: to understand how the ocean helps regulate the climate by absorbing atmospheric CO2.
In his programme "La Terre au Carré" on France Inter, Mathieu Vidard looks back at the SWINGS expedition.
Leaving Reunion Island in January 2021, they have been together at the helm of the SWINGS mission for 8 weeks in the heart of the Southern Ocean.
For 8 weeks, 48 scientists and crew members crossed part of the Indian Ocean, passing through the Marion, Crozet, Heard and Kerguelen islands, before returning to Reunion Island 57 days later.
This year, 12 scientists and 25 crew members embarked on the 31st mission of the PIRATA oceanographic programme from the port of Brest (France) instead of the usual port since 2015 of Mindelo (Cape Verde), due to the pandemic.
share the article on social media