Champion free-diver Tanya Streeter assesses the influence of underwater explorer and film maker Jacques Cousteau.
A pioneer of the aqua lung and nature documentaries, Jacques Cousteau’s groundbreaking series The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau had an enormous impact on the 1970s, gripping an entire generation of children with its kaleidoscopic beauty. The stunning films of sea-life, coupled with Cousteau's natural history lectures in romantically accented English, are credited with spawning the environmental movement.
Cousteau spent more time filming underwater than probably anyone else and, as such, was alert to the devastating impact of over-fishing and pollution, particularly in the Mediterranean. Away from the camera, he lobbied tirelessly for tighter government regulations to protect the marine environment and biodiversity.
Champion free-diver Tanya Streeter reflects on the life and work of the explorer and film-maker turned oceanographer and considers the challenges that remain for the protection of our Oceans.
“Cousteau’s inventions opened up the underwater world to exploration,” she says. “He inspired us to see the planet in an entirely new way.”
Producer: Emily Williams
Series Editor: David Prest
A Whistledown production in association with The Open University.