Plankton Planet is a complementary team of committed researchers, engineers, and sailors from the US, France and New Zealand who believe that improving our knowledge and understanding of ocean life is critical for the sustainability of humanity on the blue planet.

‘Plankton Planet’  is an international non-profit organization that works in close collaboration with the Tara Foundation (France & USA) which runs the scientific expeditions of the famous schooner Tara (

The mission

To develop innovative user-friendly tools to underpin a sustainable wind-powered citizen Oceanography 3.0 providing critical new knowledge on global plankton ecology, morphology and genetics that will be universally accessible for scientists, teachers and policy-makers.

In the long term, Plankton Planet will creatE

  • An international fleet of planktonauts to act as sentinels and collective consciouscness of the biological health of our oceans
  • A toolkit of simple, scientifically relevant instruments for seatizen-based assessment of aquatic biodiversity (marine and freshwater).
  • An ever-growing cryo-bank of global ocean DNA samples, a unique archive representing the memory of our changing oceans for future generations and technologies.
  • A continuous flow of standardized ocean imaging and genetic data at unprecedented spatial, temporal, and taxonomic scales, essential for fundamental and applied science, policy-makers, and education.

PlanktonPlanet — EN from PlanktonPlanet on Vimeo.

Plankton around the world 

The Vendée Globe represents a superb opportunity to meet, sample, and learn more about life in the seawater. The planetary route crosses contrasting areas, difficult to access, and a dozen oceanic provinces representing at least as many plankton landscapes. Above all, this suspended world still conceals many mysteries. It is urgent today to understand its biodiversity and how it functions because our survival depends on it. 

In this 2020-21 edition, as part of a partnership between the IMOCA Class and Plankton Planet, we will discover these plankton landscapes at the pace of the race, with plankton portraits that tell part of the story. For the first time on racing yachts, Sam Davies and Didac Costa will also sample the living plankton aboard their racing yacht! A formidable challenge because plankton life is one of the most fragile. But a challenge that could eventually give a new dimension to the regattas: that of measuring the living ocean and understanding its evolution.

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