Jean Michel Cousteau, The Oceans Expert's Blog
“Interview with Jean-Michel Cousteau in Copenhagen”
15 Dec 09 | 442 comments
Interview with Jean-Michel Cousteau, at the occasion of the screening oh his movie “Dolphins & Whales”, Copenhagen IMAX, Planetarium, 13 December, 2009. By: Celine Germond-duret, Researcher, University of Central Lancashire and Friend of GCI.
CGD: What are the biggest challenges faced by oceans today?
JMC: The big challenge is managing their resources, obviously in a sustainable way. But since we are using the oceans as a universal sewer, we are affecting them, we are overfishing them, and we are destroying their habitat. These things can be fixed. The biggest problem we have is our emission of CO2 which is creating major acidification of the oceans. That will affect the coral reefs and their ability to reproduce themselves. It will also affect the ability of crustaceans to change their covers or their shells. So we really have a lot of work to do, and we can do it.
CGD: Why do you think that oceans are the forgotten element?
JMC: Because we are land animals and have the tendency to disconnect ourselves from the oceans, when we are completely dependent on them. If we protect the oceans, we protect ourselves. But if we don’t, then we are heading for major catastrophes.
CGD: Through your actions, you try to raise awareness among politicians. Do you have examples of success?
JMC: Yes, amazingly with President Bush. We were able to convince him to protect 140’000 square miles of ocean, which were the largest protected piece of oceans at that time*. And that tells you that with proper dialogue, and by treating people in a very civilized way (and not going into confrontation), we can accomplish a lot.
CGD: What are you hopes concerning the Climate change conference?
JMC: Well, the hope is that decisions need to be made. No more talk, but action. And that has to happen.
- : After screening “Voyage to Kure” at the White House in 2006, along with its director Jean-Michel Cousteau, George W. Bush was convinced to name the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands the “Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument” , later renamed the “Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument”.