XIAMEN, April 2 (Xinhua) -- The French research schooner Tara approached the sea off the coast of Xiamen Monday morning, starting an eight-day visit to the eastern Chinese city to raise awareness about marine environmental protection, especially reef preservation.
The stopover was part of Tara's 100,000-km Pacific expedition focusing on research on coral reefs and climate change. The science vessel has traveled 60,000 km since 2016, collecting 25,000 research samples.
According to Xiamen University, one of the organizers of Tara's Xiamen visit, seminars, exhibitions and other activities will be held.
The highlight of Tara's visit will be a public open day co-hosted by Tara and Chinese research vessel Tan Kah Kee, which was named in memory of patriotic overseas Chinese businessman and philanthropist Tan Kah Kee, who established Xiamen University in 1921.
According to a press conference held by the French consulate in Shanghai last month, Tara is scheduled to visit Sanya, Hong Kong, Keelung,Xiamen and Shanghai during its first China visit, which began Feb. 24. It will leave Shanghai on April 29.
Tara was built in 1989 and measures 36 meters long by 10 meters wide. Since 2003, it has finished 11 science expeditions.