“ I never skimped on my dreams ”

Paul Ricard

The Paul Ricard Oceanography Institute

The Paul Ricard Oceanography Institute was founded by Paul Ricard, in 1966, with the help of Dr Alain Bombard, in reaction to one of the first incidents of industrial pollution in the Mediterranean: the discharge of ‘red sludge’ into the sea off Cassis, near Marseille, on the French Mediterranean coast.

The aim of this non-profit organisation is to know the sea, to spread knowledge of it and to protect it. This was an original concept in the late 1960s: to associate scientific research with awareness-raising public outreach, in particular towards young people.

Today under the Presidency of Patricia Ricard, the founder’s grand-daughter, the Paul Ricard Oceanography Institute is recognised for its role in enhancing the knowledge and management of the coasts. At a time when environmental issues are a major challenge, the Institute continues to embark on innovative actions, seeking sustainable solutions for the Mediterranean.



Several million

The number of eggs released into the sea  by a female sea-urchin, which after fertilisation will produce only a few juveniles on the seabed.

45 years

The age of the oldest fan mussel known in the Mediterranean (Port-Cros National Park - south-east France).


The number of juveniles (7 to 12 mm long) released, on average, by a male seahorse in the natural environment. Only 5 baby seahorses out of 1000 survive.


The rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide absorbed by the world ocean, the main climate regulator.