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Alexandra Cousteau: “there is still time to save the oceans”

The 5th Meeting of the Seas closed four days of activities in Tenerife with a message of hope from the oceanographer's granddaughter, Alexandra Cousteau, who described the loss of more than 50% of the blue natural capital as "terrible".

Alexandra Cousteau, an environmental activist, diver, and granddaughter of Commander Jacques-Ives Cousteau, concluded the presentations of the V Encuentro de Los Mares (Fifth Meeting of the Seas) held in Costa Adeje, organized by Vocento Gastronomía in collaboration with The Island Council of Tenerife. During the event, she conveyed a message of optimism to the audience, including scientists, businessmen, journalists, chefs, and others, stating that “there is still time to save the oceans.”

In her speech, Cousteau fondly remembered her grandfather and father, highlighting how much the world of seas has changed since her grandfather’s initial research. She emphasized that over 50% of the natural blue capital has been lost, which she described as a “terrible” situation. Nevertheless, she remained hopeful and stressed the importance of taking action to protect the oceans.

Cousteau mentioned her conversation with Carlos Duarte, a Professor of Marine Sciences, who offered a roadmap for reconstructing the life of the oceans. This roadmap involves changing the language used in discussions about the oceans and focusing on rebuilding, regenerating, and reversing the damages caused by insufficient protections over the years.

She expressed concern about the number of people losing hope in a better planet, with 40% of them not wanting to have children due to the situation. Cousteau emphasized the significance of an ocean with whales and a forest with elephants, stating that we need to rely on science and nature to reverse the current trends. In this regard, she encouraged chefs and restaurateurs to commit to sustainability and responsible use of marine resources.

Cousteau’s hope is that by the time her daughter, born in 2011, expresses her desire to help save the oceans, such efforts would no longer be necessary. She supported the concept of the “blue economy” and the need to attribute value to nature to prevent environmental loss.

During the V Encuentro de los Mares, blue tourism was also discussed, with participants addressing the importance of whale watching activities, which contribute around 30 million euros annually to Tenerife’s economy. They highlighted the need for proper regulation and inspection to ensure compliance with environmental guidelines.

Overall, the event was regarded as the best one carried out so far, and the organizers, Vocento Gastronomía, expressed their commitment to addressing all issues related to the sea and its conservation, fostering a space for debate and reflection.

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