World renowned oceanographer and son of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Fabien, recently came to the beautiful reefs, off the Florida Keys. His family's legacy of oceanic conservationism, exploration, education and technological advancement came with him.
Those of us old enough to remember, recall the wonderful TV show that Jacques hosted; The Underwater World of Jacques Cousteau. Fabien learned to dive when he was only 4 years old and accompanied his dad on that famous vessel the Calypso for many of its voyages. Following in his fathers footsteps, he is passionate in educating others on the importance and necessity of taking care of the Earth's oceans, that make up over 60% of our planet.
His trip to the Florida Keys was part of an ongoing effort by local dive partners to help Ocean Reef Club on one of their monthly reef cleanup trips. Sadly, over the course of their dive, they collected over 600 lbs of debris and trash; including some old, abandoned lobster pots, rope and other items that are hazardous to the reef and marine life.
Video Courtesy: National Marine Sanctuary Foundation
These "Dives Against Debris" are a monthly occurrence and typically haul in many hundreds of pounds of trash. All the shops and participants are permitted by the state and are trained in best practices for debris and garbage removal.
When asked by the Keys Weekly why he opted to bring his team and help out, he said “People protect what they love, they love what they understand, and they understand what they’re taught.”
One of the other projects that he's involved in is the creation of the underwater lab, named Proteus, located in the waters off Curacao, sitting in 60' of water. The lab is modeled after the International Space Station and will consist of various modules, that can be customized, as needed, will also utilize a variety of renewable energies.
Of his trip to the Keys, he said, “It’s a privilege and responsibility to share the adventure and the passion (of our oceans) with others. It’s something a lot of people won’t get the chance to do, but that we, at the Ocean Learning Center, and you, in the Keys, can do every day.”
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