Pure Ocean is an endowment fund created in 2017 in Marseille. Its main mission is to support innovative applied research projects around the world, contributing to the protection of fragile marine ecosystems and biodiversity. Beyond the funding of research projects, Pure Ocean organizes conferences and promotes races and sporting challenges to raise awareness of the critical situation of our Oceans.

Mission Statement

Pure Ocean is an endowment fund that mobilises civil society, in France and worldwide, in order to support ambitious and innovative oceanic research projects on the themes of biodiversity, climate and health.

Program Details

Pure Ocean supports state-of-the-art applied research projects to: - PRESERVE biodiversity and fragile marine ecosystems, - FIND solutions for a sustainable exploitation of marine resources (fishing, energy, minerals...) - INCREASE understanding of the oceans and contribute to the fight against climate change.
Three aspects of innovation are considered in the projects we support: • Technological > underwater robots, environmental DNA, ... • Social > citizen science, community involvement, ... • Ecological > biomimicry, protected marine areas, ...
Following our first call for projects, our independent Scientific Committee, composed of renowned authorities in international climate and ocean research, selected 6 projects to receive funds in 2019 (see below). In 2020, our second call for projects received over 150 applications from 40 countries including several proposals focused on oceanic research for human health. With Pure Ocean, step up support of oceanic research for health and biodiversity!
OVERVIEW OF THE FIRST PURE OCEAN PROJECTS MARINE SPONGES TO ABSORB PLASTICS? In the Mediterranean, Marta and her team’s research is on sea sponges. These organisms filter seawater for food. They then filter out the micro-plastics and chemical compounds dissolved in the seawater, potentially “destroying” them and transforming them into particles that are edible by other organisms. This research may, one day, enable us to reduce plastic pollution in the sea.
DEEPSEA EXPLORATION OF SEAMOUNTS Ariadna, a young researcher is discovering the biodiversity present in the great depths off Easter Island. For the first time, new families of tropical starfish have been identified through her ROV (Remotely Operated underwater Vehicle) exploration of the Pukao and Apolo seamounts (+or-200m). A great opportunity to reflect on the creation of new marine protected areas to preserve the amazing biodiversity of seamounts.
INNOVATIVE LAND-BASED AQUACULTURE TO PRESERVE THE CARIBBEAN REEF ECOSYSTEMS Enrique and his team experiment closed-circuit land-based aquaculture with a pilot lab in the Yucatan, where aquifers are infiltrated with seawater. They develop “integrated multi-trophic aquaculture”, which consists of simultaneously rearing fish, mollusks and marine plants: each species finding a source of food in the waste of the other species. A closed circuit food chain, inspired by nature’s own that has functioned for over 4 billion years. The first tests are encouraging: tilapia, mussels and algae have acclimatized very well to the underground seawater.
AN APP TO MONITOR COASTAL MARINE BIODIVERSITY As part of a citizen science program, Laura and her team are developing a mobile application for divers to enable the collection of data on marine biodiversity. Data collection is essential to better know and protect the environment. Thanks to participatory science, the general public becomes an actor in research and helps to protect the planet. Voluntary divers can – following an established scientific protocol – make observations, measurements or counts and transmit the data for processing and analysis by scientists.
IMPROVE WATER QUALITY THANKS TO SATELLITE IMAGES At the border between the ocean and the continents, coastal waters are home to a rich biodiversity and complex habitats, which are subject to natural pressures accentuated by human activities. The challenge is to work on a statistical model based on 20 years of satellite images of European coastal waters: measuring the color of the water enables the acquisition of qualitative and quantitative data on the biogeochemical composition of surface waters. Output: essential information to decision makers to take measures to stabilize and enhance natural biodiversity.
CANADA'S CLIMATE CHANGE SENTINEL FERRY Eric, in Canada, took advantage of the arrival of the ice and the immobilization of the ferry serving the Nunatsiavut region, to install high-tech measuring instruments acquired thanks to the Pure Ocean grant. Inuit students will be recruited and trained to monitor changes in salinity, PH and other key indicators of climate change. Measurements will begin as early as June, in this area of Canada’s far north, which is very sensitive to climate change.
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