Studying corals in the Red Sea, home to the world’s most resistant species


The expedition in brief

In close partnership with the Transnational Red Sea Center of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the Pacific Foundation is participating in a four-year expedition in the Red Sea to conduct the first systematic scientific exploration of the region’s coral reefs.

This mission combining science and diplomacy will run from 2021 to 2024 with the support of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). It will allow the first “baseline” study of the coral ecosystem in the Red Sea. Its main focus is to establish the current coral mapping and determine the genetic diversity and resistance to climate change of coral species living in these waters.

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Logo Transnational Red Sea Center
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Sailboat & logistics

Fleur de Passion is a former German minesweeper from the Second World War built in 1941 and converted in the mid-1970s. Operated by the Pacific Foundation and sailing under the Swiss flag, this 33m ketch is the ideal logistic platform for this multidisciplinary expedition.

Fleur de Passion has been specially fitted out to adapt the boat to the scientific objectives of the partners. Various equipment and technical installations have been installed on board to ensure that the Red Sea expedition runs as smoothly as expected.

In 2011, Fleur de Passion served as a logistical platform for scientific expeditions on corals in Egyptian waters. In 2017, our sailboat sailed across the Great Barrier Reef as part of The Ocean Mapping Expedition (2015-2019), a 4-year round-the-world voyage in the wake of Magellan which combined science, education and culture.


The Red Sea Expedition 2021-2024 takes place in the context of the Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), a United Nations priority program defined in 2017. Ocean science is “essential for global sustainability and wise ocean management”.

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The Foundation

With a decade of experience in leading oceanographic expeditions, the Pacific Foundation is pleased to be associated with this prestigious research program, which should provide a better understanding of the human impact on the oceans and raise public awareness on sustainable development issues.

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