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The Big Splash Down! Fabien Cousteau’s Mission 31 Announced!

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June 11, 2013 10:31 ET
Fabien Cousteau Takes Grandfather's Legacy to New Depths With Mission 31
NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Jun 11, 2013) - No exploration team has ever spent 31 full days submerged underwater in the name of science and discovery, but a new ocean exploration endeavor named Mission 31 led by noted filmmaker and oceanographic explorer, Fabien Cousteau will launch this fall to test new science and tech-based experiments with underwater motorcycles, autonomous robots and Kirby Morgan tech diving helmets.
Cousteau announced the global Mission 31 endeavor on the anniversary of his grandfather's birthday (June 11). Aquarius, owned by NOAA and managed by Florida International University, will serve as Mission 31's base camp for Cousteau's team to explore climate, pollution and overconsumption problems. Located 63 feet under sea level in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (nine miles south of Key Largo), this "inner-space" station is the only undersea marine habitat and lab in the world and will be the longest mission Aquarius has hosted.
Cousteau's endeavour will break new ground in ocean exploration and also coincides with the 50th anniversary of a monumental legacy left by is grandfather Jacques-Yves Cousteau, credited with creating the first underwater habitats for humans and leading a team of ocean explorers on the first attempt to live and work underwater aboard Conshelf Two. The ambitious 30-day living experiment in the Red Sea succeeded as the first effort in saturation diving, proving that it could be done without suffering any ill effects. Mission 31 will expand the 50-year-old Cousteau legacy by one full day, 30 more feet of saturation and will broadcast every second on multiple channels exposing the world to the adventure, risk and mystique of what lies beneath.
"When my grandfather's Conshelf Two mission was complete he produced an Academy Award-winning documentary film (World Without Sun), but still received critisim rooted in disbelief of how he captured the mind-boggling underwater scenes," says Cousteau. "Using the latest camera technology, we will be able to show the world every second of Mission 31 in unedited, real-time and I believe it's going to shock people. We have explored less than five percent of our ocean realms; there's so much more to be discovered."
Saturation training for Mission 31 starts mid-Sept. and Cousteau's team will submerge on Sept. 30 for the first full day on Aquarius, Oct. 1. Each day of the mission can be seen by students worldwide via live Skype video calls into classrooms around the world. The Weather Channel has also partnered with Cousteau to provide ongoing coverage including live reports throughout the mission. Cousteau's production team Bonnets Rouges and Liquid Pictures will be shooting footage for a longer format IMAX documentary.
During Mission 31, research will be conducted on the underwater effects of climate change on corals, sponges and sea life with scientific advice and mission support from Northeastern University's Urban Coastal Sustainability Initiative. Cousteau's team will lead human physiological and psychological experiments to determine how long humans can live without the sun, the effects of long-term high pressure and Divers Alert Network (DAN) research team will study prolonged confinement on brain function and the physiological effects after long-term saturation diving.
OceanElders organization, which includes Sir Richard Branson, Sylvia A. Earle, Jackson Browne, Neil Young and others, will assist in raising awareness and VIP visits to Aquarius during Mission 31. Global music artist, will.i.am, and founder of the i.am.angel Foundation will sponsor 12 high school students from his i.am College Track program to receive scuba training visits during the mission. DOXA watches will be the official timekeeper for the mission and will commemorate the endeavor with a Mission 31 watch.
To become a supporting partner, visit: www.mission-31.com. Follow Mission 31 at: www.facebook.com/CousteauMission31, and www.twitter.com/Mission_31.
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Amy Summers
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Mind Of A Demon

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Although Jaws premiered over three decades ago, public misconceptions about sharks remain, resulting in the steady rise of industrial fishing and the threat of species extinction. With the goal of dispelling popular misconceptions about sharks and gaining a better scientific understanding of their behavior, Fabien created Troy—a shark-shaped submersible designed to mimic the fish’s behavior. Armed with video cameras and full diving gear, Fabien and his team swam alongside great whites, capturing over 170 hours of footage from inside of Troy’s belly over the course of two years. In 2006, CBS aired Mind of a Demon With Fabien Cousteau, a primetime special that featured highlights from the Troy experience.

More on Mind Of A Demon

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WNYC: The Leonard Lopate Show

How Healthy Are the Oceans?

Lopate

Originally aired on January 30, 2013

Fabien Cousteau, a filmmaker, oceanographic explorer and grandson of Jacques Cousteau, and marine toxicologist Susan Shaw talk about the health of the oceans and conservation. Susan dove into the BP oil slick in May 2010 to assess the impact of oil and the chemical dispersants used to clean the spill, which had a devastating impact on marine life in the Gulf and human health.

Biography

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Growing up on decks of his famous Grandfather’s ships, Calypso and Alcyone, Fabien Cousteau was destined to work to protect our planet’s immense and endangered marine habitats. Fabien champions the family legacy as third generation ocean explorer and filmmaker.

From his vast experience in the field, coupled with a degree in environmental economics from Boston University, he has refined a public policy platform grounded by his strong belief that environmental discipline can be the basis for innovative solutions that strike a balance between regional and global environmental problems and the realities of market economies.

Fabien has worked with National Geographic, Discovery, PBS and CBS to produce ocean exploration documentaries from 1998-2006. In 2006, Fabien partnered with his father, Jean-Michel Cousteau, and sister, Celine, for an ongoing multi-year multi-hour series for PBS called Ocean Adventures. In 2010, he launched Plant A Fish, an innovative nonprofit organization designed to empower communities and children to help restore their local water ecosystems through the healthy “replanting” of key marine species. Current initiatives include restoration projects in El Salvador, New York City, South Florida, Nicaragua and the Maldives. Expansion to Haiti, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Indonesia and Washington DC is expected in 2013 followed by Greece, California, Mozambique and Nova Scotia in early 2014.

An active writer, he is currently working on a children’s book trilogy. Fabien is routinely seen on network television, the Oprah Winfrey Show, Gayle King, and as a guest/ contributor to NBC’s Today Show as well as appearing on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN, France 2, NPR, MSNBC and many more. He shares his guidance as a member of multiple Boards including SeaKeepers Society, Water Innovation Alliance, Millennium Project, Blue Ocean Film Festival, Plastic Pollution Coalition, One World One Ocean, Points of Light, Antarctic Ocean Alliance, Aquarius Foundation, Bahamas National Trust and the New York Harbor School.

Additionally, he speaks at a variety of global and domestic environmental and water conferences as well as mainstream business conferences such as Bloomberg, BLUE, Google Zeitgeist, Sundance, Tribeca Film Festival, DLD, Rio+20, BiF and TEDx (Los Angeles/ New York/ Rio).

Fabien shares his time between France and the United States (New York City) and when not conducting fieldwork he is riding the planet on a wind surfer, mountain bike or piloting a plane or taking a hike with Heidi, his four legged companion. His passion for vintage motorcycles sometimes takes him to the quiet of his garage where his cellphone does not work and he can dive into the zen of breathing life into these "basket cases."

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Outside, Fabien Cousteau: Underwater Auteur

December 2005 — Michael Behar

Fabien Cousteau is sunburned. It’s a sultry August evening in Key Largo, Florida, and the 38-year-old grandson of history’s preeminent undersea explorer arrives late for dinner, having just wrapped up a 13-hour day filming coral spawning.

Read the article.