Following an announcement from Prince Albert II of Monaco at the United Nations Ocean Conference in New York earlier this year, the three year-long Monaco Explorations Campaign has begun. Little over two weeks ago, on 27th July at 10.30pm, the M/V (motor vessel) Yersin departed the Principailty of Monaco and sailed out to the archipelagos of Macaronesia in the Atlantic Ocean in search of new information regarding marine conservation.
The tailor-made 250-foot M/V Yersin, which is built for scientific research purposes, is equipped with six laboratories, an ROV, a complete diving station and the latest in communication technology. The ship is capable of sailing the sea for 50 days without rest, including 10 days without any discharge. Its environmental capabilities are specifically suited for the marine conversation and exploration mission.
François Fiat, member of the Monaco Yacht Club and the first ambassador to the La Belle Classe Charter, is the owner of the M/V Yersin: “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. This is only the beginning of the adventure, which I am more than honoured to share with Prince Albert II and the Principality of Monaco.”
The Monegasque royal family went on board M/V Yersin during the launch celebrations in Port Hercules, accompanied by an array of influential figures such as Serge Telle (State Minister of Monaco), Karmenu Vella (European Environmental and Maritime Affairs Commissioner) and Erick Solheim (Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme).
“The scientific programs selected for this campaign will have several objectives — notably to gain 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 Prince Albert II as he inaugurated the Monaco Explorations Campaign in June.
Macaronesia (Madeira-Portugal and Cabo Verde) is the first of many explorations that the vessel and its crew will make in the coming years.
The three-year-long campaign will focus on marine biology, molecular biology, biodiversity, protection of endangered species, ocean acidification and pollution. It’s possible to keep up-to-date with the findings of the M/V Yersin crew and researchers by following them on various social media platforms: