January 19, 2015

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In Paris on Monday, French luxury skincare company Biotherm held a joint press conference with Mission Blue to announce that part of proceeds from three products of its Aquasource range (Aquasource Gel, Aquasource Crème and Aquasource Crème Riche) would support the Tetiaroa Society and CRIOBE (The Insular Research Center and Environment Observatory of French Polynesia) to research and replenish fish and crustacean stocks in the lagoon of Tetiaroa – an exquisite coral atoll located 33 miles north of Tahiti in French Polynesia.

Tetiaroa provides vital sea turtle nesting habitat

Tetiaroa provides vital sea turtle nesting habitat

Stan Rowland, chairman of Tetiaroa Society, said:

“We are thrilled to be working with Biotherm and Mission Blue in a collaborative effort to protect our oceans and marine environments. This funding from Biotherm will support an important effort to demonstrate an economic and environmentally sustainable method of replenishing marine life in coral lagoons. It’s an innovative project that we believe will contribute significantly to the science of replenishing over-fished lagoons and in the restoration of marine protected areas. We have already enjoyed success in the creation of a marine protected area limiting fishing inside Tetiaroa’s lagoon, which was achieved in partnership with the government of French Polynesia and local fishermen last year. We hope that by demonstrating what can be done in Tetiaroa, it will help in restoration efforts and the creation of marine protected areas elsewhere around the world. We thank Biotherm for its commitment to our oceans and for its valuable support of our program and our mission for sustainable interdependence through education, conservation, and creative science.”

Post-larval reef fish and crustaceans will be cultured at the Tetiaroa Society EcoStation

Post-larval reef fish and crustaceans will be cultured at the Tetiaroa Society EcoStation

The three-year project, titled Replenishing Tetiaroa’s Lagoon: Capture, culture and restocking of fish and crustacean post-larvae, aims to restore populations of fish and crustaceans in the Tetiaroa lagoon by rearing and releasing individuals captured at the post-larval stage from the nearby Tetiaroa reef crest. After culturing post-larvae at the Tetiaroa Society EcoStation for 1-3 months depending on species, individuals will be tagged, released and monitored in the lagoon, which is safeguarded as a marine protected area (MPA). Conducting this fish and crustacean replenishment method across different parts of the MPA will help researchers determine its effectiveness. Ultimately, this project will allow Tetiaroa to sustainably manage its marine species while developing methods that will likely prove helpful to conservation efforts in other coral lagoons across the globe.

Aerial shot of the Tetiaroa reef © Tim McKenna

Aerial shot of the Tetiaroa reef © Tim McKenna

Dr. Serge Planes, Director of CRIOBE, co-authored the proposal for this project with Tetiaroa’s Stan Rowland. Dr. Planes commented:

“This project will be a unique opportunity to evaluate the potential to recolonize and repopulate coral reefs in order to increase biodiversity and resource availability. This three-year project offers long-term perspectives that are required in such areas where the objective is to recreate new ecosystem equilibria. The CRIOBE has been involved in research on this topic for the last 20 years and this project provides an opportunity to apply findings to conservation. The Tetiaroa model site suits this work perfectly since this small atoll is already partially protected and we will be more able to follow the impacts of replenishment. While some questions remain and some outcomes are not yet clear, this pilot project may lead to larger conservation plans involving our replenishment approaches.”

Once a favorite retreat of Tahitian royalty, the Tetiaroa atoll was purchased by Marlon Brando in 1967. The late actor vowed to preserve its cultural richness, natural beauty and notable biodiversity through ecotourism, scientific research and protection from development and resource extraction. The Brando Trust works to fulfill Brando’s wishes through projects like Replenishing Tetiaroa’s Lagoon. With support from Biotherm and an awareness campaign designed by Mission Blue, Tetiaroa Society and CRIOBE will implement this novel research and conservation project and expect to report their findings in notable scientific journals. Mission Blue looks forward to spreading the word about this important work.

2012 Video about Tetiaroa Society & The Brando resort, which opened July 2014

Click here to download press materials

Press Contact: Courtney Mattison

Biotherm is a foundational supporter of Mission Blue. Since 2012, Biotherm Water Lovers has raised over 350,000 Euros from limited editions of its most popular skincare products and charity projects to support our Hope Spots initiative through ocean conservation projects.

Learn more about our organization by watching the Mission Blue film trailer:

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