Fabien Cousteau: “Bonaire is at a crossroads”


A post by Peter Jordens.

Amigoe reports on Fabien Cousteau’s recent stay in Bonaire. For twelve years he had wanted to visit the island and last weekend Fabien Cousteau was finally in Bonaire. “The stories are correct: Bonaire is one of those rare jewels in the Caribbean.”

Like his famous grandfather Jacques Cousteau, Fabien is an oceanographic researcher and filmmaker. […] During a public seminar in Bonaire he discussed at length the work of his grandfather and his own voyages of exploration, but talked especially about the importance of oceans for human life. According to Cousteau, the underwater world has changed dramatically since the time of his grandfather. “I have been diving since I was four, have been going on expeditions since I was seven, and still do so most of the year. But one can hardly find a handful of sand without a piece of plastic. The sea is being used as a waste bin. Awareness is starting to grow, but there remains a lot of work to be done.”

In Bonaire, Cousteau took part in a dive clean-up and learned about a coral reef restoration project. He was thrilled about the work of the Junior Rangers, a youth education project. According to Cousteau, it all starts with education. He quoted his grandfather: “People protect what they love. They love what they understand, and they understand what they have learned.”

[…] In the opinion of the deep sea researcher, Bonaire is at a crossroads: “The question is: do you want the island to be a ‘unique destination,’ or do you want to compete with other islands? If you choose the ‘McDonalds route’ as Aruba has done, then there is a chance that you are going for short-term gains but long-term losses. The Marine Park here is so beautiful because it has been around such a long time. The island now has the opportunity to make good decisions based on advancing scientific insights.”

Cousteau called Bonaire “the Caribbean he had been looking for.” He certainly hopes to return, among other things to conduct research with the RV Chapman, which has already been used for deep sea exploration of the reef of Bonaire.

For the original article (in Dutch), go to http://www.amigoe.com/regio/225877-fabien-cousteau-bonaire-staat-op-een-kruispunt.



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