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1. Can you explain to young people the different types of divers?
There are several kinds of divers.
Although,most of my work is now done in an office, I regularly get to go to the ocean, and love jumping into the water and silently exploring nature's hidden aquatic beauty.
2. Can you explain your program, Cousteau Divers?
I am a recreational diver instructor and I teach diving. As I was teaching diving, I realized that our oceans are under serious threats by human activity and I wanted to protect them. So now I have created a non-profit organization called Cousteau Divers. It's a monitoring program of the oceans, which will involve divers, to help study and protect the oceans worldwide.
Cousteau Divers are recreational divers who want to help the seas. We give them underwater surveys that they fill out and then send us on internet. This allows us to see how the health of the oceans is evolving. Cousteau Divers will be the agents of protection,the custodians of the seas!
3. What would you say is the most difficult aspect of your career choice?
Originally, when I had the idea for Cousteau Divers, it took me one night to write it down and draw it up. It was a lot of fun.I felt like the creative process of imagining how I could best help the oceans was very warm and fulfilling. That was almost a year ago, and now I am trying to make this idea a reality, and that is the hardest part! The world moves slowly, I discovered, but I wanted my ideas to realize fast.
4. What got you interested in your career choice? Did anything as a youth or school help spark your interest?
I always loved the ocean.Being on the beach and hearing the waves crash... feeling washed and energized when playing in the surf... At the end of high-school I was still hesitant between biology and literature. I chose biology in the end, probably because my father, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, had done so many investigations in the field, but also because it is the language of nature. It has been very rewarding. How does a tree work? How do all the little invisible molecules that make each one of our cells work together? And it is amazing to discover how well orchestrated everything is inside of us and all around us. Studying what marvels and compels your imagination is very rewarding.
5. What can a young person do now to develop the skills needed to enter your career choice?
Learn! As much as you can and about what you love most! Find out what you are best at learning and dive boldly into the knowledge!
6. What are some of the wonderful things you have seen in a dive?
The most wonderful thing I saw was during a night dive in the Red Sea. At night, bioluminescent plankton lights up when you agitate it, so when you move your arms around underwater, you can create galaxies and fireballs! We saw a dolphin swimming through this plankton, and his body light up with constellations of these luminous micro-organisms.It looked like an alien spaceship!
7. What are some concerns you have seen in your dives?
Some places in the sea are devastated by mindless human activities. Pollution, fishing and general carelessness has destroyed many beautiful places. We need to stop doing this and help protect the oceans we love!
8. Can you share a recent expedition?
In the summer of 2010, we went to the Mediterranean Sea aboard the Cousteau Society ship called the Alcyone.With the National Geographic Society, we spent a month filming the area documenting changes to the Mediterranean Sea since my father first filmed in the 1940s. The goal was also to promote mariner reserves and how we need more of these marine protected area and how such protection can restore the bio-diversity to an area.
9. What might be some facts you'd like to share with young people about the oceans?
Most of the air you breathe is produced by tiny creatures at the surface of the oceans! They produce even more oxygen than the forests on Earth. They are called plankton, and they are in danger because of the CO2 level rise in our atmosphere. If they are in danger: we are too! It's young people with lots of hope and energy who will help find the solutions to our world's problems. So if you care, study hard and work hard to protect life on our planet, just like a super-hero!
Photograph from Pierre-Yves Cousteau-Thank You!