Fabien Cousteau's Plan to "Re-Plant" Key Marine Species Worldwide

fish photo

Photo by hoyasmeg via Flickr CC

Fabien Cousteau, grandson of the ocean explorer Jaques Cousteau, has a mission to empower communities to "re-plant" important marine species in their local habitats. From oysters in New York Harbor, to sea turtles in El Salvador, to corals in the Maldives, the ocean advocate is hoping to spark a worldwide effort of rehabilitating our marine ecosystems. To do so, he's started up a non-profit called Plant a Fish, and the efforts are starting at the edge of Brooklyn. According to Plant a Fish, over 97% of the earth is covered by aquatic ecosystems and more than 20% of the world's population relies on these as a source of food or income.

That means healthy economies and human populations are dependent upon healthy oceans. Yet we're destroying them at a terrifying rate. Restoring what we have is key to seeing any sort of marine life in the future.

"My grandfather often said that 'People protect what they love.' The mission of Plant A Fish is to help people learn more, and ultimately care more, by 'getting wet' and getting directly involved in restoring and protecting water bodies and marine life," said Fabien Cousteau, founder, Plant A Fish.

"Entire species of marine life are disappearing at an alarming rate. In the past 50 years, almost 60% of our world's fish stocks have been consumed, and less than 10% of the big fish species are left in the world. It's time we stop acting as hunters and start becoming farmers. We must tend to the oceans as we do to a prized garden, as we ultimately depend on them too."

Launched Monday, Cousteau and students from the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, a Bushwick, Brooklyn public school, re-planted 130,000 oysters in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. It's no small feat - it costs around $5,000 to plant 10,000 oysters, and Cousteau is hoping to see 1 billion oysters living in the bay eventually, according to Fast Company.

The effort, though, hopes to be repeated by Plant a Fish across the globe with species important to various ecosystems. It's a big goal, but with a family history of making amazing things happen, it's possible that we'll see new life sprouting up all over the ocean.

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More on the Cousteau Family Activism
Dispatch from the Gulf Oil Spill: Philippe Cousteau Tours the Wetlands, Oil Refineries (Photos and Video)
Phillippe Cousteau Joins Bill Maher to Talk Deepwater Disaster (VIDEO)
THTV: Alexandra Cousteau on Inextricably Linked Energy & Water - Interview Part 1 of 2 (Video)

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