At the beginning of April, Patrick Deixonne (Head of the Expedition) met the scientific teams from Mercator Océan, who were joining the expedition at the museum of natural history in Toulouse. Mercator Océan, who has been partner of this adventure for a number of years, provides the crew with resources (manpower, tools, information) to ensure the mission’s success on a scientific and educational level.
During the preparation phase of the mission, the company provided information on the drift of waste and of pollution in the North Atlantic thanks to a route simulation of this debris. This helped the 7th Continent ship to plan the course, which is to leave from Fort de France fort for the gyre of plastic in the Sargasso Sea (link: more information on this mission). The main contact person Ariane Bouilly (CNES) will monitor the expedition in real-time by means of currents charts and sea-surface heights.
The 7th Continent Expedition is also the opportunity to raise awareness of this continent of plastic in youngters by creating a partnership between the CNES (National Centre of Spacial Studies), Mercator Océan and the students of the ARGONAUTICA project. Several classes met up at the eventto present their projects and efforts to support the mission and discuss solutions for this ecological disaster. Local events are also to be organised with the 7th Continent’s partners.
Mercator Océan: The Expedition’s scientific partner
The French centre for analysis and ocean forecasting is carried out by 5 major organisations of operational oceanography: the CNRS, the IFREMER, the IRD, Météo France and the SHOM. It develops and operates operational systems for ocean forecasting capable of describing, analysing and forecasting the ocean in 3D, providing continuous and live coverage whether on a regional or global scale. Mercator Ocean has headed the ‘My Ocean’ European framework Copernicus project since 2009. ‘My Ocean’ includes some sixty public and private partners in Europe and almost 350 experts. It offers a catalogue of oceanographic products on an Internet portal. The project is preparing for the launch of the European maritime surveillance service from 2014.