The Yersin Arrives in Martinique

The Yersin left Mission One in Cabo Verde, Africa on October 5th and headed across the Atlantic Ocean to Fort-de-France, Martinique. During transatlantic travel, the Sargasso mission was carried out which you can read about here.

When the Yersin arrived in Fort-de-France, HSH Prince Albert II and the Monaco Explorations team was there to welcome them. We had a busy few days of events planned.

We extend a big thank you to Maud Fontenoy who joined us in Martinique to give presentations about her adventures at sea as well as her long-time advocacy work. She spoke to a group of schoolchildren onboard the Yersin, to the public in a town hall style presentation in Precheur, and again in Fort-de-France at an event to present the work of the Sargasso mission.

We attended an afternoon ceremony to classify and name the Marine Protected Natural Reserve of Prêcheur as part of the preservation of natural spaces and protection of biodiversity by the Territorial Collective of Martinique. Located in northwestern Martinique, the areaincludes two sites, les îlets La Perle and the Citadelle, as well as 12 km of coastline along Prêcheur, at the foot of the Pelée Mountain.

This new protected area was named the Albert-Falco Marine Territorial Natural Reserve of Prêcheur. The naming is in memory of Albert Falco, lover of the sea and for all the Martiniquais who had the privilege of working with him. The Martiniquais have not forgotten his commitment to the protection and enhancement of the underwater heritage of Saint-Pierre, not to mention his collaboration with Commander Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who has popularized the defense and protection of the marine environment.

Louis Boutrin, Executive Councilor, Marcellin Nadeau, Mayor of Prêcheur, Franck Robine, Prefect of Martinique and HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco hosted the event. Mr. and Mrs. Fiat, Yersin owners, arrived to welcome the family of the late Albert Falco onboard their vessel, and attended a small private ceremony with Mr. Falco’s family, a few friends, and HSH Prince Albert II.

After the naming ceremony, the Collectivité Territoriale de Martinique hosted a town hall presentation for the public to talk about the importance of ocean conservancy and protection, and for Monaco Explorations to present our work.

To read about this event in French, and for additional photos, click here.

In the evening HSH Prince Albert II and Monaco Explorations hosted an event in Fort-de-France to present the work of the Sargasso team and to celebrate the life and work of Albert Falco, and the naming of the Marine Protected Area dedicated in his name.

We were in Martinique for just a few short days, and the Yersin will go in dry dock for the next two months to prepare for future missions. We will be back in early January to start the next mission.

** All photos in this post are courtesy of Olivier Borde

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