H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco announced the 2017 – 2020 Monaco Explorations Campaign at the United Nations Oceans Conference on June 7th 2017 in New York City. The campaign research platform, the M/V Yersin, departed the Principality of Monaco for the three-year journey on July 27th at 10.30 pm. Scientific researchers will begin the first of many explorations in the archipelagos of Macaronesia in the Atlantic Ocean (Madeira-Portugal and Cabo Verde) in August.
HH.SS.HH., Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene accompanied by their children, Crown Prince Jacques et Princess Gabriella, went on board M/V Yersin during the celebrations which took part in Port Hercules, under the initiative of the Yacht Club of Monaco.
In attendance of H.E. Mr Serge Telle, State Minister of Monaco (Prime Minister), Karmenu Vella European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Erick Solheim, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, His Sovereign Highness handed over to Captain Jean Dumarais the Monegasque flag, which was then hoisted by two crew members.
The 250 foot M/V Yersin, built for scientific research and education, is equipped with 6 research laboratories, an ROV, a complete diving station and is fully equipped with the latest communications technologies. The ships owner François Fiat is a member of the Yacht Club of Monaco and the first ambassador to the La Belle Classe Charter.
“This is a dream that I have had since childhood when I read The Adventures of Tintin. Designing and building the Yersin has been a 10 year project.” said François Fiat. “And this is only the beginning of the adventure which I am more than honored to share with Prince Albert II and the Principality of Monaco”
The ship is capable of traveling the seas for 50 days autonomously, including 10 days without any discharge. The M/V Yersin is a clean ship with a limited impact on the environment making it the ideal scientific research vessel.
“The M/V Yersin is a unique ship. It’s designed and operated to minimize its impact on seas and marine ecosystems. The scientific programs selected for this campaign will have several objectives, notably a better knowledge of the oceans and the threats they face, in order to contribute to the search for local and international solutions, both from practical and political points of view. We are witnessing a moment that will remain in our memories, in those of the Principality of Monaco, and in those of all the defenders of the seas.” said H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco who initiated this campaign with full support of the Princely Government, and in partnership with Fondation Prince Albert II, Océanographique Institute de Monaco, Yacht Club de Monaco, and the Centre Scientifique de Monaco, and private partners such as Monaco-Telecom, SSI-MonacoSat and Inmarsat. The Campaign intends to contribute to a better knowledge of the seas in order to promote conservation on local and international levels.
The multidisciplinary scientific explorations that will be carried out will deal with marine biology, molecular biology, biodiversity, mega fauna, protection of endangered species, ocean acidification, pollution, and will aim for increases of marine protected areas.
The Monaco Explorations Campaign aims to raise public and leaders awareness regarding the research findings as well as the many threats facing the seas today. To follow the research initiatives, discover the remote locations visited, and stay in touch with the M/V Yersin, crew, and the dozens of international researchers who will be on board go to the website.