Fabien Cousteau is an oceanographic explorer, conservationist and documentary filmmaker. As the first grandson of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Fabien spent his early years aboard his famous grandfather’s ships, Calypso and Alcyone; and learned how to scuba dive on his fourth birthday. Today, Fabien continues to fulfill his family’s legacy to protect and preserve the planet’s extensive and endangered marine inhabitants and habitats. Beyond his vast experience in the field, Fabien earned a degree in environmental economics from Boston University. He is using his knowledge to help refine a public policy platform grounded in the belief that environmental discipline can be the basis for cutting-edge solutions that strike a balance between regional as well as global environmental problems, and the realities of market economies.
Fabien is most widely known for the three-year, multi-hour series he produced for PBS with his father, Jean-Michel Cousteau, and sister, Céline, in 2006, called, “Ocean Adventures.” Additionally he is well known for his intensive study of sharks and documentary, “Mind of a Demon,” that aired on CBS, also in 2006. With the help of a large crew, Fabien created a 14-foot, 1,200-pound, lifelike shark submarine called “Troy” that enabled him to immerse himself inside the shark world, providing viewers with a rare view of the mysterious and often misunderstood creatures. Fabien developed the idea of a shark-shaped submersible based on a childhood memory of the cover of a French-language comic book, “The Adventures of Tintin: Le trésor de Rackham le rouge,” which featured this idealistic craft.
Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Cousteau
In 2010, Fabien launched Plant A Fish, a nonprofit organization designed to empower communities and children to help restore their local water ecosystems through the healthy “replanting” of key marine species with the ultimate goal of planting 1 billion “fish” worldwide. Current initiatives include restoration projects in El Salvador, New York City, South Florida and the Maldives (www.plantafish.org).
In 2013, Fabien announced his global Mission 31 expedition that breaks new ground in ocean exploration and also coincides with the 50th anniversary of a monumental legacy left by his grandfather, who is also 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. In 2014, Mission 31 will commence to honor Cousteau’s original experiment by going deeper, longer and further while broadcasting each moment on multiple channels exposing the world to the adventure, risk and mystique of what lies beneath.
Fabien is working on a book documenting the adventures of Mission 31. He also serves as a member of multiple cause-driven and charitable 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 and the New York Harbor School. Additionally, Fabien speaks at a variety of global and domestic environmental and water conferences as well as mainstream business conferences, including: Google Zeitgeist, DLD, TEDx and Rio2.0, Rio +20 Summit and the United Nations Foundation. He is a frequently interviewed, and featured by major media outlets worldwide, about his conservation and environmental initiatives (www.fabiencousteau.org).