Jean-Michel Cousteau
Cousteau in December 2007
Born (1938-05-06) 6 May 1938 (age 86)
Toulon, France
Occupation(s)Oceanographic explorer
Film producer
SpouseAnne Marie (div.)
PartnerNancy Marr
ChildrenFabien Cousteau
Céline Cousteau
Parent(s)Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Simone Melchior
RelativesPhilippe Cousteau (brother)
Pierre-Antoine Cousteau (uncle)

Jean-Michel Cousteau (born 6 May 1938) is a French oceanographic explorer, environmentalist, educator and film producer. The first son of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, he is the father of Fabien Cousteau and Céline Cousteau.

Life and career

Cousteau is the son of Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Simone Melchior, who were business partners.[1] Cousteau first dived with an aqua-lung in 1945 when he was seven years old. Although he went to school to study architecture,[2] he joined his father's Cousteau Society, serving for twenty years as executive vice president before striking out on his own in 1993 to produce environmental films.[3][4][5] Cousteau and his father disagreed on the management and policies of the Society.[6]

After Cousteau opened a resort on a Fiji island utilizing the family name, Jacques-Yves Cousteau filed a lawsuit against him in 1996.[5] In June 1996, a court signed an injunction requiring him to add, with equal prominence in placement, his first name to the hotel.[4] Jean-Michel then founded the Ocean Futures Society in 1999, a marine conservation and education organization. In 2003, Francesca Sorrenti and Marisha Shibuya of the SKe GROUP project, in partnership with Ocean Futures Society, collaborated to produce Water Culture, a Trolley Books publication featuring a wide variety of photographer's water-related imagery and interviews with prominent world personalities on the problems facing our water supply.[7] Cousteau is also Chairman of Green Cross France. Cousteau advocates for a world free of nuclear weapons, and is a member of the Advisory Council of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

Cousteau is working on a documentary highlighting the epic and disastrous 2010 Gulf Oil Spill in which 11 workers were killed during an explosion of deepwater rig 50 miles (80 km) off the coast of Louisiana, United States.[citation needed]

In 2012, he published the book My Father, The Captain: My Life with Jacques Cousteau.

Cousteau is the President of Green Cross France & Territoires, a NGO proposing keys for actions towards a better environment for an unburdened future.

Film production and appearances

He has produced over 70 films.[8] He appears in the 2003 IMAX documentary film Coral Reef Adventure.

He appeared on a documentary-type special feature, Case of the Sponge "Bob", on the DVD version of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004) in which he and Stephen Hillenburg talk about all of the real-life counterparts to the sea creatures seen in the cartoon series and movie. He did a similar feature for the DVD of the Disney/Pixar movie Finding Nemo: Exploring the Reef with Jean-Michel Cousteau. In Disney's DVD release of Finding Nemo, Cousteau makes an appearance interacting with the characters from the film, Marlin, Nemo and Dory, and touting the need for better pollution control, showing videos of polluted coral reefs.

Cousteau made a new documentary series Ocean Adventures released in 2006.[9] Ocean Futures Society, KQED and PBS are continuing production on the Ocean Adventures series for 2007 and 2008. In October 2006, Cousteau, and an expedition team that includes his son Fabien and daughter Céline, began filming along the Amazon River. Twenty years ago scientists predicted devastation and irreversible environmental damage here, and 25 years ago Cousteau and his father traveled with their teams the entire length of the Amazon to document, learn, and see for themselves.

In 2006, Cousteau's documentary Voyage to Kure inspired then U.S. President George W. Bush to protect the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, making it—with its 140,000 square miles (360,000 km2) of ocean waters, islands, and atolls—one of the largest Marine Protected Areas in the world.[10][11]


Unless noted otherwise, all are appearances as himself.


  1. ^ Lunn, Rosemary E. (8 March 2021). "WDHOF announces new Simone Melchior Cousteau Grant". X-Ray International Dive Magazine. Archived from the original on 28 July 2021. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  2. ^ Cruz, Gilbert (22 April 2009). "Q&A: Jean-Michael Cousteau on Killer Whales". Time.
  3. ^ "Cousteau family feuds over Hawaii condo project". Xinhua News Agency. 28 October 2006. Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  4. ^ a b Brozan, Nadine (12 June 1996). "Chronicle". The New York Times. p. A21. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Cousteau's Legacy: His Son and Widow Compete to Carry On". Time. 5 October 1998. Archived from the original on 24 December 2007. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  6. ^ Jonas, Gerald (26 June 1997). "Jacques Cousteau, Oceans' Impresario, Dies". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  7. ^ Cousteau, Jean Michel (2003). Water Culture. Trolley Books. p. 216. ISBN 978-1-904563-09-9. Archived from the original on 22 July 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
  8. ^ Sheridan, Patricia (24 April 2006). "Breakfast With Jean-michel Cousteau". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  9. ^ "Jean-Michel Cousteau : Ocean Adventures . Voyage to Kure – PBS". Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  10. ^ "President Bush Establishes Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Monument" (Press release). Office of the Press Secretary. 15 June 2006. Retrieved 26 August 2008.
  11. ^ Weiss, Kenneth (15 June 2006). "Turnaround as Bush creates huge aquatic Eden". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 26 August 2008.
  12. ^ "Jean-Michel Cousteau : Ocean Adventures . About the Series – PBS". Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  13. ^ "Jean-Michel Cousteau : Ocean Adventures . Call of the Killer Whale – PBS". Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Wonders of the Sea 3D -- The Film". Retrieved 13 December 2018.