Mission 31, a first in marine science discovery.

Aquarius marine lab submerged at 20 meters depth besides the Conch Reef, a marine sanctuary off the Florida Keys

Aquarius marine lab submerged at 20 meters depth besides the Conch Reef, a marine sanctuary off the Florida Keys (click for credit)

Fabien Cousteau is the grandson of the famous French oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, he’s followed in his glorious footsteps. As I write this blog he and his team are preparing to surface at the end of successful ‘Mission 31’, life underwater in a sealab for 31 days beating the record of his grandfather by one day.

Aquarius Reef Base is a permanent research lab off the southern tip of the coast of Florida at a depth of about 20 meters, the height of a 7 storey building. It housed a team of six scientists and technicians and is located near Conch Reef where the coral can be explored by saturation diving: instead of only 2-3 hours and surfacing to refill oxygen tanks divers can go for 9 hours with underwater filling which allows scientists to immerse themselves in the reef’s cycle of life.

I thought I’d give you some ‘water for thought’ with quotes from Fabien Cousteau’s website:

“The ocean represents 99% of the living space on Planet Earth.” —Fabien Cousteau

“The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” —Jacques-Yves Cousteau

“With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you’re connected to the sea. No matter where on Earth you live.” —Sylvia Earle

This is really the goal that Cousteau has set for the mission: to show how man, water and the atmosphere are inseparable, a hand’s on discovery of our intimate relationship with the ocean.

‘No matter how remote we feel we are from the oceans, every act each one of us takes affects our planet’s water cycle and, in return, affects us. An estimated 20,000 species live in the deep sea; the majority have yet to be discovered. We have explored less than 5% of our ocean realms. Imagine what has yet to be discovered.’

“Protect the ocean, and you protect yourself.” —Jean-Michel Cousteau

I suggest you read the Aquarius dive blog and you can even ‘plant a fish’… and excellent initiative to help both adults and kids understand the importance of our oceans.

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