MATTHEW LEIGHT – The Corsair
November 24, 2010
On November 16, Fabien Cousteau, grandson of famed diver Jacques Cousteau, visited the University of West Florida to give a speech. This stop was part of a series of presentations that the diver is giving in commemoration of the year his grandfather would have celebrated his 100th birthday.
Fabien Cousteau began the presentation by giving a brief introduction of his family. He also shared some information and video pertaining to his own exotic travels. However, the reminiscence and laughter was short-lived.
Cousteau continued to share his perceived importance of oceans. He shared that, in his opinion, he has been witnessing its destruction at the hands of his fellow man. Cousteau went on to quantify the importance of the ocean in statistics and facts. He stated that 70 percent of the food we eat contains a product of the ocean. Some of the examples given ranged from kelp contained in ice cream to other ocean materials used in the process of making breakfast cereals.
“We have to look at our planet as a bank account. As we chip away at the capital, there will be less and less interest to live on,” Cousteau said.
Cousteau eluded to the use of dispersants after the BP spill saying, “It was the dumbest thing we could have done.” He also said that by using the dispersants, “we’ve created a mess that cannot be cleaned up.”
Cousteau stated that it is known that some of these chemicals are cancer causing and that these dispersants will work their way up onto our plates.
However, despite the negatives, he does have hope for the future. “The ocean is the reason life exists,” Cousteau said.
Cousteau shared the story about how he was laying awake at 3 a.m. When he had a thought.
Referring to the Plant a Tree USAtm program, Cousteau said, “Tree planting is great, but why does restoration stop at the water line? Why aren’t we planting fish?” It was after this that he started the non-profit Plant a Fish. Working in conjunction with students, the program has fish restoration projects currently underway in New York, Florida, El Salvador and many other places. His goal is to “plant” one billion fish. “We are changing the world one fish at a time,” Cousteau said.
3 Things You Can Do Today (According to Fabien Cousteau)
- Download “Seafood Watch Card”- gives current status on which fish you should eat for your survival and theirs
- Use less plastics (2.4 million pounds of plastic are dumped into the ocean per hour and take 500 years to dissipate)
- Use social media to “Spread the Word”
For more information go to: http://plantafish.org