03 February 2006

Son recreates Cousteau documentaries

Jean-Michel Cousteau, the son of legendary underwater film-maker Jacques, has made a modern version of his father's famed diving film series of the 1960s and '70s.

The Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Adventures series begins on America's PBS TV channel this spring. It encapsulates the work of Cousteau's Santa Barbara, California-based Ocean Futures Society in promoting marine exploration, education and conservation.

Like Jacques Cousteau's films, the series follows the adventures of a band of people voyaging aboard a vessel to different parts of the globe in search of experiences and understanding of the marine world. Along with diving exploration and scientific analysis, a picture of shipboard life is portrayed - reflecting, according to one US commentator, the "reality TV of today".

The six one-hour programmes document four main expeditions. Voyage to Kure is a two-parter based around the north-western Hawaiian archipelago, billed as the "most remote island group in the world". It documents the battle for survival of marine life in the face of pollution, mining, fishing and development.

The Gray Whale Obstacle Course also majors on pollution, following the journey of grey whales from Baja California to the Bering Sea via the "most polluted migration routes of any whale species".

In Sharks: At Risk, the team swims with grey sharks in French Polynesia and, cageless, with great white sharks off South Africa. In the final two-part America's Underwater Treasures, the team explores the "rarely visited" underwater parks of the country’s National Marine Sanctuary System.

It is hoped that screening rights to the series, produced by Ocean Futures Society and KQED Public Broadcasting, will be agreed for Britain and other countries after broadcast in the USA.

Source: www.divernet.com


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