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PAGE ONE :: FORUMS :: EDITORIALS :: JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU

 

Son of Cousteau's eco sideshow is all about harassing sharks...

Anton Girelli - Recreational Diver
November 13, 2002 at 08:49:59

How does lecturing to groups (probably for a large speaker fee) about how cool it is to beat wild animals with rebars for reacting (as instinct would direct) to bait placed in the water by the club-wielding "heros" who then grab the animals for thrill ride square up with the "consumate conservationist" Jean-Michel's publicist projects? NOT!!!  What am I talking about? Check this out from another message board:

"Greetings! My wife Shashi and I just got back from a weekend scuba diving conference held from 11/9/01 through 11/11/01 in Duluth, Minnesota called the Gales of November in which the keynote speaker was Jean Michel Cousteau.

During his lecture, he showed us a video that is a work in progress which he shot in South Africa off of Cape Town with a local expert in great white sharks. This is the current "hot spot" for spotting great white sharks as it is also a breeding ground for sea lions. The local expert has developed a process for diving in the open water with great whites when ideal conditions exist and security is present. The security basically involves wielding hardened sticks that look like rebar to bump and, if necessary, poke, the great whites in the nose if they get too close.

In addition to the local expert demonstrating his ability to pet the great whites, he also tries to catch a ride with one (much like the trainer did in the Hollywood movie "Deep Blue Sea"). The expert is not able to grab the back of one passing 13 ft. female great white's top fin. He encourages Cousteau to try. Throughout the video Cousteau appears very cautious and one would think he would opt out. When the shark swims by, he reluctantly reaches out and is able to successfully grab onto the great white's fin and take a ride! This was way cool -- I was totally blown away.

After the lecture, my wife and I mustered up enough courage to meet Jean Michel as he signed books for guests. I asked him if we could have our picture taken with him and he readily obliged us."

Action Divers

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