Fabien Cousteau will attempt to surpass his famous grandfather’s record-setting time underwater. As part of Mission 31, Cousteau will spend 31 days submerged, diving to Aquarius Reef Base on Sunday, and will live stream the entire event.
For the younger Cousteau, Mission 31 is an attempt to raise awareness about the Aquarius Foundation and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Cousteau’s record-setting 1964 Continental Shelf Station Two mission. Jacques Cousteau filmed the 30-day expedition and the subsequent documentary, “World Without Sun,” won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1964. The ConShelf Two was an attempt to create a habitable environment undersea, and as part of the mission, Cousteau’s team built several underwater structures which housed up to 10 oceanographic explorers.
Fabien will spend 31 days at the Aquarius Reef Base, filming the experience for a documentary while also conducting experiments, reports Associated Press. The underwater lab is located off the coast of Key Largo, Florida. Cousteau will dive 60-feet underwater for the expedition and will be joined by researchers from Florida International University and Northeastern University. According to AP, the researchers will conduct experiments analyzing climate change’s effect on the nearby coral reef. The Aquarius Reef Base is owned by the U.S. government and funding cuts in 2012 nearly closed the underwater lab.
According to Mission 31’s website, “The overarching theme for Mission 31 is the human-ocean connection within the lens of exploration and discovery. Three main topics will be highlighted throughout Mission 31: climate change and the related challenges of ocean acidification; ocean pollution with an emphasis on the effects of plastics; and overconsumption of resources with specific focus on the decline of biodiversity.”
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Fabien Cousteau has worked on other conservation efforts to preserve marine life and improve water ecosystems as part of the Plant A Fish organization.