Jacques-Yves Cousteau AC (French: [ʒak iv kusto]; commonly known in English as Jacques Cousteau; 11 June 1910 – 25 June 1997) was a French naval officer, explorer, conservationist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water. He co-developed the Aqua-Lung, pioneered marine conservation and was a member of the Académie française.
Cousteau described his underwater world research in series of books, perhaps most successful being his first book, The Silent World: A Story of Undersea Discovery and Adventure, published in 1953. Cousteau also directed films, most notably the documentary adaptation of the book, The Silent World, which won a Palme d'or at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival. He remained the only person to win a Palme d'Or for a documentary film, until Michael Moore won the award in 2004 for Fahrenheit 9/11.
"The sea, the great unifier, is man's only hope. Now, as never before,
the old phrase has a literal meaning: We are all in the same boat."
Cousteau was born on 11 June 1910, in Saint-André-de-Cubzac, Gironde, France to Daniel and Élisabeth Cousteau. He had one brother, Pierre-Antoine. Cousteau completed his preparatory studies at the Collège Stanislas in Paris. In 1930, he entered the École Navale and graduated as a gunnery officer. After an automobile accident cut short his career in naval aviation, Cousteau indulged his interest in the sea.
In Toulon, where he was serving on the Condorcet, Cousteau carried out his first underwater experiments, thanks to his friend Philippe Tailliez who in 1936 lent him some Fernez underwater goggles, predecessors of modern swimming goggles. Cousteau also belonged to the information service of the French Navy, and was sent on missions to Shanghai and Japan (1935–1938) and in the USSR (1939).
On 12 July 1937 he married Simone Melchior, with whom he had two sons, Jean-Michel (born 1938) and Philippe (1940–1979). His sons took part in the adventures of the Calypso. In 1991, one year after his wife Simone's death from cancer, he married Francine Triplet. They already had a daughter Diane Cousteau (born 1980) and a son Pierre-Yves Cousteau (born 1982), born during Cousteau's marriage to his first wife.
Early 1940s: Innovation of modern underwater diving
The years of World War II were decisive for the history of diving. After the armistice of 1940, the family of Simone and Jacques-Yves Cousteau took refuge in Megève, where he became a friend of the Ichac family who also lived there. Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Marcel Ichac shared the same desire to reveal to the general public unknown and inaccessible places — for Cousteau the underwater world and for Ichac the high mountains. The two neighbors took the first ex-aequo prize of the in 1943, for the first French underwater film: Par dix-huit mètres de fond (18 meters deep), made without breathing apparatus the previous year in the Embiez islands (Var) with Philippe Tailliez and Frédéric Dumas, using a depth-pressure-proof camera case developed by mechanical engineer Léon Vèche (engineer of Arts and Métiers and the Naval College).
In 1943, they made the film Épaves (Shipwrecks), in which they used two of the very first Aqua-Lung prototypes. These prototypes were made in Boulogne-Billancourt by the Air Liquide company, following instructions from Cousteau and Émile Gagnan. When making Épaves, Cousteau could not find the necessary blank reels of movie film, but had to buy hundreds of small still camera film reels the same width, intended for a make of child's camera, and cemented them together to make long reels.
Having kept bonds with the English speakers (he spent part of his childhood in the United States and usually spoke English) and with French soldiers in North Africa (under Admiral ), Jacques-Yves Cousteau (whose villa "Baobab" at Sanary (Var) was opposite Admiral Darlan's villa "Reine"), helped the French Navy to join again with the Allies; he assembled a commando operation against the Italian espionage services in France, and received several military decorations for his deeds. At that time, he kept his distance from his brother Pierre-Antoine Cousteau, a "pen anti-semite" who wrote the collaborationist newspaper Je suis partout (I am everywhere) and who received the death sentence in 1946. However, this was later commuted to a life sentence, and Pierre-Antoine was released in 1954.
During the 1940s, Cousteau is credited with improving the aqua-lung design which gave birth to the open-circuit scuba technology used today. According to his first book, The Silent World: A Story of Undersea Discovery and Adventure (1953), Cousteau started diving with Fernez goggles in 1936, and in 1939 used the self-contained underwater breathing apparatus invented in 1926 by Commander Yves le Prieur. Cousteau was not satisfied with the length of time he could spend underwater with the Le Prieur apparatus so he improved it to extend underwater duration by adding a demand regulator, invented in 1942 by Émile Gagnan. In 1943 Cousteau tried out the first prototype aqua-lung which finally made extended underwater exploration possible.
Late 1940s: GERS and Élie Monnier
In 1946, Cousteau and Tailliez showed the film "Épaves" to Admiral Lemonnier, and the admiral gave them the responsibility of setting up the Groupement de Recherches Sous-marines (GRS) (Underwater Research Group) of the French Navy in Toulon. A little later it became the GERS (Groupe d'Études et de Recherches Sous-Marines, = Underwater Studies and Research Group), then the COMISMER ("COMmandement des Interventions Sous la MER", = "Undersea Interventions Command"), and finally more recently the CEPHISMER. In 1947, Chief Petty Officer Maurice Fargues became the first diver to die using an aqualung while attempting a new depth record with the GERS near Toulon.
In 1948, between missions of mine clearance, underwater exploration and technological and physiological tests, Cousteau undertook a first campaign in the Mediterranean on board the sloop Élie Monnier, with Philippe Tailliez, Frédéric Dumas, Jean Alinat and the scenario writer Marcel Ichac. The small team also undertook the exploration of the Roman wreck of Mahdia (Tunisia). It was the first underwater archaeology operation using autonomous diving, opening the way for scientific underwater archaeology. Cousteau and Marcel Ichac brought back from there the Carnets diving film (presented and preceded with the Cannes Film Festival 1951).
Cousteau and the Élie Monnier then took part in the rescue of Professor Jacques Piccard's bathyscaphe, the FNRS-2, during the 1949 expedition to Dakar. Thanks to this rescue, the French Navy was able to reuse the sphere of the bathyscaphe to construct the FNRS-3.
The adventures of this period are told in the two books The Silent World (1953, by Cousteau and Dumas) and Plongées sans câble (1954, by Philippe Tailliez).
In 1949, Cousteau left the French Navy.
In 1950, he founded the French Oceanographic Campaigns (FOC), and leased a ship called Calypso from Thomas Loel Guinness for a symbolic one franc a year. Cousteau refitted the Calypso as a mobile laboratory for field research and as his principal vessel for diving and filming. He also carried out underwater archaeological excavations in the Mediterranean, in particular at (1952).
With the publication of his first book in 1953, The Silent World, he correctly predicted the existence of the echolocation abilities of porpoises. He reported that his research vessel, the Élie Monier, was heading to the Straits of Gibraltar and noticed a group of porpoises following them. Cousteau changed course a few degrees off the optimal course to the center of the strait, and the porpoises followed for a few minutes, then diverged toward mid-channel again. It was evident that they knew where the optimal course lay, even if the humans did not. Cousteau concluded that the cetaceans had something like sonar, which was a relatively new feature on submarines.
Cousteau won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1956 for The Silent World co-produced with Louis Malle. With the assistance of Jean Mollard, he made a "diving saucer" SP-350, an experimental underwater vehicle which could reach a depth of 350 meters. The successful experiment was quickly repeated in 1965 with two vehicles which reached 500 meters.
In 1957, he was elected as director of the Oceanographical Museum of Monaco. He directed Précontinent, about the experiments of diving in saturation (long-duration immersion, houses under the sea), and was admitted to the United States National Academy of Sciences.
He was involved in the creation of Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques and served as its inaugural president from 1959 to 1973.
In October 1960, a large amount of radioactive waste was going to be discarded in the Mediterranean Sea by the Commissariat à l'énergie atomique (CEA). The CEA argued that the dumps were experimental in nature, and that French oceanographers such as had recommended it. Romanovsky and other French scientists, including and Jacques Cousteau, repudiated the claim, saying that Romanovsky had in mind a much smaller amount. The CEA claimed that there was little circulation (and hence little need for concern) at the dump site between Nice and Corsica, but French public opinion sided with the oceanographers rather than with the CEA atomic energy scientists. The CEA chief, Francis Perrin, decided to postpone the dump. Cousteau organized a publicity campaign which in less than two weeks gained wide popular support. The train carrying the waste was stopped by women and children sitting on the railway tracks, and it was sent back to its origin.
A meeting with American television companies (ABC, Métromédia, NBC) created the series The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, with the character of the commander in the red bonnet inherited from standard diving dress) intended to give the films a "personalized adventure" style. This documentary television series ran for ten years from 1966 to 1976. A second documentary series, The Cousteau Odyssey, ran from 1977 to 1982, among others.
In 1970, he wrote the book The Shark: Splendid Savage of the Sea with his son Philippe. In this book, Costeau described the oceanic whitetip shark as "the most dangerous of all sharks".
In 1973, along with his two sons and Frederick Hyman, he created the Cousteau Society for the Protection of Ocean Life, Frederick Hyman being its first President; it now has more than 300,000 members.
In 1975, John Denver released the tribute song "Calypso" on his album "Windsong", and on the B-side of his hit song "I'm Sorry". "Calypso" became a hit on its own and was later considered the new A-side, reaching #2 on the charts.
In December 1975, two years after the volcano's last eruption, The Cousteau Society was filming Voyage au bout du monde on Deception Island, Antarctica, when Michel Laval, Calypso's second in command, was struck and killed by a rotor of the helicopter that was ferrying between Calypso and the island.
In 1977, together with Peter Scott, he received the UN International Environment prize.
On 28 June 1979, while the Calypso was on an expedition to Portugal, his second son Philippe, his preferred and designated successor and with whom he had co-produced all his films since 1969, died in a PBY Catalina flying boat crash in the Tagus river near Lisbon. Cousteau was deeply affected. He called his then eldest son, the architect Jean-Michel, to his side. This collaboration lasted 14 years.
In 1985, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Ronald Reagan.
On 24 November 1988, he was elected to the Académie française, chair 17, succeeding Jean Delay. His official reception under the cupola took place on 22 June 1989, the response to his speech of reception being given by Bertrand Poirot-Delpech. After his death, he was replaced by Érik Orsenna on 28 May 1998.
In June 1990, the composer Jean Michel Jarre paid homage to the commander by entitling his new album Waiting for Cousteau. He also composed the music for Cousteau's documentary "Palawan, the last refuge".
On 2 December 1990, his wife Simone Cousteau died of cancer.
In June 1991, in Paris, Jacques-Yves Cousteau remarried, to Francine Triplet, with whom he had (before this marriage) two children, Diane and Pierre-Yves. Francine Cousteau currently continues her husband's work as the head of the Cousteau Foundation and Cousteau Society. From that point, the relations between Jacques-Yves and his elder son worsened.
In November 1991, Cousteau gave an interview to the UNESCO Courier, in which he stated that he was in favour of human population control and population decrease. Widely quoted on the Internet are these two paragraphs from the interview: "What should we do to eliminate suffering and disease? It's a wonderful idea but perhaps not altogether a beneficial one in the long run. If we try to implement it we may jeopardize the future of our species...It's terrible to have to say this. World population must be stabilized and to do that we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. This is so horrible to contemplate that we shouldn't even say it. But the general situation in which we are involved is lamentable".
In 1992, he was invited to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the United Nations' International Conference on Environment and Development, and then he became a regular consultant for the UN and the World Bank.
In 1996, he sued his son who wished to open a holiday centre named "Cousteau" in the Fiji Islands.
Jacques-Yves Cousteau died of a heart attack on 25 June 1997 in Paris, aged 87. Despite persistent rumors, encouraged by some Islamic publications and websites, Cousteau did not convert to Islam, and when he died he was buried in a Roman Catholic Christian funeral. He was buried in the family vault at Saint-André-de-Cubzac in France. An homage was paid to him by the city by the inauguration of a "rue du Commandant Cousteau", a street which runs out to his native house, where a commemorative plaque was affixed.
During his lifetime, Jacques-Yves Cousteau received these distinctions:
- Cross of War 1939–1945 (1945)
- National Geographic Society's Special Gold Medal in 1961
- Commander of the Legion of Honour (1972)
- Officer of the Order of Maritime Merit (1980)
- Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit (1985)
- U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom (1985)
- Induction into the Television Hall of Fame (1987)
- Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters
- Honorary Companion of the Order of Australia (26 January 1990)
Cousteau's legacy includes more than 120 television documentaries, more than 50 books, and an environmental protection foundation with 300,000 members.
Cousteau liked to call himself an "oceanographic technician." He was, in reality, a sophisticated showman, teacher, and lover of nature. His work permitted many people to explore the resources of the oceans.
His work also created a new kind of scientific communication, criticised at the time by some academics. The so-called "divulgationism", a simple way of sharing scientific concepts, was soon employed in other disciplines and became one of the most important characteristics of modern television broadcasting.
The Cousteau Society and its French counterpart, l'Équipe Cousteau, both of which Jacques-Yves Cousteau founded, are still active today. The Society is currently attempting to turn the original Calypso into a museum and it is raising funds to build a successor vessel, the Calypso II.
In his last years, after marrying again, Cousteau became involved in a legal battle with his son Jean-Michel over Jean-Michel licensing the Cousteau name for a South Pacific resort, resulting in Jean-Michel Cousteau being ordered by the court not to encourage confusion between his for-profit business and his father's non-profit endeavours.
In 2007, the International Watch Company introduced the IWC Aquatimer Chronograph "Cousteau Divers" Special Edition. The timepiece incorporated a sliver of wood from the interior of Cousteau's Calypso research vessel. Having developed the diver's watch, IWC offered support to The Cousteau Society. The proceeds from the timepieces' sales were partially donated to the non-profit organization involved into conservation of marine life and preservation of tropical coral reefs.
Though he was not particularly a religious man, Cousteu believed that the teachings of the different major religions provide valuable ideals and thoughts to protect the environment. In a Chapter entitled "The Holy Scriptures and The Environment" in the posthumous work The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus, he is quoted as stating that "The glory of nature provides evidence that God exists".
|1. Films I|
|1F||1956||Le Monde du silence||The Silent World||Yes|
|2S||1958/1959||Histoire d’un poisson rouge||The Golden Fish||Yes|
|3F||1964/1965||Le Monde sans soleil||World Without Sun||Yes|
|2. The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau I|
|1||1966||L’aventure Précontinent||The World of Jacques-Yves Cousteau||Yes|
|3||1967/1968||La jungle de corail||The Savage World of the Coral Jungle||Yes|
|4||1968||Search in the Deep||Yes|
|5||1968||Baleines et cachalots||Whales||Yes|
|6||1968/1969||Le voyage surprise de Pepito et Cristobal||The Unexpected Voyage of Pepito and Cristobal||Yes|
|7||1968/1969||Trésor englouti||Sunken Treasure||Yes|
|8||1968/1969||La légende du lac Titicaca||The Legend of Lake Titicaca||Yes|
|9||1969||Les baleines du désert||The Desert Whales||Yes|
|10||1969/1970||La nuit des calmars||The Night of the Squid||Yes|
|11||1969/1970||La retour des Éléphants de mer||The Return of the Sea Elephants||Yes|
|12||1970||Ces incroyables machines plongeantes||Those Incredible Diving Machines||Yes|
|13||1970||La mer vivante||The Water Planet||Yes|
|14||1970||La tragédie des Saumons rouges||The Tragedy of the Red Salmon||Yes|
|15||1970/1971||Le lagon des navires perdus||Lagoon of Lost Ships||Yes|
|16||1971||Les Dragons des Galápagos||The Dragons of the Galapagos||Yes|
|17||1971||Cavernes englouties||Secrets of the Sunken Caves||Yes|
|18||1971||Le sort des Loutres de mer||The Unsinkable Sea Otter!||Yes|
|19||1971/1972||Pieuvre, petite pieuvre||Octopus, Octopus||Yes|
|20||1971/1972||Les dernières Sirènes||The Forgotten Mermaids||Yes|
|21||1972||Le chant des dauphins||A Sound of Dolphins||Yes|
|22||1972/1973||Le sourire du Morse||A Smile of the Walrus||Yes|
|23||1973||500 millions d’années sous la mer||500 Million Years Beneath the Sea||Yes|
|25||1973||La baleine qui chante||The Singing Whale||Yes|
|26||1973/1974||Mission Cousteau en Antarctique. Partie I. La glace et le feu||Cousteau in the Antarctic. Part I. South to Fire and Ice||Yes|
|27||1974||Mission Cousteau en Antarctique. Partie II. Le vol du Pingouin||Cousteau in the Antarctic. Part II. The Flight of Penguins||Yes|
|28||1974||Mission Cousteau en Antarctique. Partie III. La vie sous un océan de glace||Cousteau in the Antarctic. Part III. Beneath the Frozen World||Yes|
|29||1974||Mission Cousteau en Antarctique. Partie IV. Blizzard à Esperanza||Cousteau in the Antarctic. Part IV. Blizzard at Hope Bay||Yes|
|30||1974/1975||Patagonie: La vie au bout du monde||Life at the End of the World||Yes|
|31||1975||L’hiver des Castors||Beavers of the North Country||Yes|
|32||1975||Les Fous du Corail||The Coral Divers of Corsica||Yes|
|33||1975||Les requins dormeurs du Yucatán||The Sleeping Sharks of Yucatán||Yes|
|34||1975/1976||Coup d’aile sous la mer: Isabella||The Sea Birds of Isabella||Yes|
|35||1976||Mysteries of the Hidden Reefs||Yes|
|36||1976||Le Poisson qui a gobé Jonas||The Fish That Swallowed Jonah||Yes|
|37||1976||The Incredible March of the Spiny Lobsters||Yes|
|3. Films II|
|4F*||1976||Voyage au bout du monde||Voyage to the Edge of the World||Yes|
|4. Oasis in Space|
|1S||1977||What Price Progress?||No|
|3S||1977||Grain of Conscience||No|
|4S||1977||Population Time Bomb||No|
|5S||1977||The Power Game||No|
|6S||1977||Visions of Tomorrow||No|
|5. The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau II|
|38||1977||L’énigme du Britannic||Calypso’s Search for the Britannic||Yes|
|39||1978||Le butin de Pergame sauvé des eaux||Diving for Roman Plunder||Yes|
|40||1978||À la recherche de l’Atlantide. Partie I||Calypso’s Search for Atlantis. Part I||Yes|
|41||1978||À la recherche de l’Atlantide. Partie II||Calypso’s Search for Atlantis. Part II||Yes|
|42||1978||Le testament de l'île de Pâques||Blind Prophets of Easter Island||Yes|
|43||1978||Ultimatum sous la mer||Time Bomb at Fifty Fathoms||Yes|
|44||1979||Le sang de la mer||Mediterranean: Cradle or Coffin?||Yes|
|45||1979||Le Nil. Partie I||The Nile. Part I||Yes|
|46||1979||Le Nil. Partie II||The Nile. Part II||Yes|
|47||1980||Fortunes de mer||Lost Relics of the Sea||Yes|
|48||1980/1981||Clipperton: île de la solitude||Clipperton: The Island Time Forgot||Yes|
|49||1981/1982||Sang chaud dans la mer||Warm-Blooded Sea: Mammals of the Deep||Yes|
|6. North American Adventures|
|1F||1981/1981**||Les Pièges de la mer||Cries from the Deep||No|
|2F||1982||Du grand large aux grands lac||Saint Lawrence: Stairway to the Sea||Yes|
|7. Cousteau's Amazon Series|
|1S||1982||Calypso Countdown: Rigging for the Amazon||Yes|
|2||1983/1984||Au pays des milles rivières||Journey to a Thousand Rivers||Yes|
|3||1983/1984||La rivière enchantée||The Enchanted River||Yes|
|4||1983/1984||Ombres fuyantes — Indiens de l’Amazonie||Shadows in the Wilderness — Indians of the Amazon||Yes|
|5||1983/1984||La rivière de l’or||River of Gold||Yes|
|6||1984||Message d’un monde perdu||Legacy of a Lost World||Yes|
|7||1984||Un avenir pour l’Amazonie||Blueprints for Amazonia||Yes|
|8||1984/1985||Tempête de neige sur la jungle||Snowstorm in the Jungle||Yes|
|8. Other releases I|
|1||1985||Le Mississippi. Partie I. Un Allié récalcitrant||Cousteau at Mississippi. The Reluctant Ally||Yes|
|2||1985||Le Mississippi. Partie II. Allié et adversaire||Cousteau at Mississippi. The Friendly Foe||Yes|
|3||1985||Jacques-Yves Cousteau: mes premier 75 ans (1)||Jacques Cousteau: The First 75 Years (1)||No|
|4||1985||Jacques-Yves Cousteau: mes premier 75 ans (2)||Jacques Cousteau: The First 75 Years (2)||No|
|5||1985/1986||Alcyone, fille du vent||Riders of the Wind||Yes|
|6К||1988||Island of Peace||Yes|
|9. Cousteau's Rediscovery of the World I|
|1||1986||Haïti: L’eau de chagrin||Haiti: Waters of Sorrow||Yes|
|2||1986||Cuba: les eaux du destin||Cuba: Waters of Destiny||Yes|
|3||1986||Cap Horn: les eaux du vent||Cape Horn: Waters of the Wind||Yes|
|4||1986/1987||L’héritage de Cortez||Sea of Cortez: Legacy of Cortez||Yes|
|5||1987||Les Îles Marquises: montagnes de la mer||Marquesas islands: Mountains from the Sea||Yes|
|6||1987||Îles du Détroit: les eaux de la discorde||Channel Islands: Waters of Contention||Yes|
|7||1987||Îles du Détroit: à l’approche d’une marée humaine||Channel Islands: Days of Future Past||Yes|
|8||1988||Nouvelle-Zélande: la Rose et le dragon||New Zealand: The Rose and the Dragon||Yes|
|9||1988||Nouvelle-Zélande: au pays du long nuage blanc||New Zealand: The Heron of the Single Flight||Yes|
|10||1988||Au pays des totems vivants||Pacific Northwest: Land of the Living Totems||Yes|
|11||1988||Tahiti: l’eau de feu||Tahiti: Fire Waters||Yes|
|12||1988/1989||Les Requins de l'île au trésor||Cocos Island: Sharks of Treasure Island||Yes|
|13||1988/1989||Mer de Béring: Le crépuscule du chasseur en Alaska||Bering Sea: Twilight of the Alaskan Hunter||Yes|
|14||1988/1989||New Zealand: The Smoldering Sea||Yes|
|15||1988/1989||Australie: l’ultime barrière||Australia: The Last Barrier||Yes|
|16||1989||Bornéo: Le spectre de la tortue||Borneo: The Ghost of the Sea Turtle||Yes|
|17||1989/1990||Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée I: La machine à remonter le temps||Papua New Guinea I: Into the Time Machine||Yes|
|18||1989/1990||Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée II: La rivière des hommes crocodiles||Papua New Guinea II: River of Crocodile Men||Yes|
|19||1989/1990||Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée III: La coeur de feu||Papua New Guinea III: Center of Fire||Yes|
|20||1989/1990||Thaïlande: les forçats de la mer||Thailand: Convicts of the Sea||Yes|
|21||1989/1990||Bornéo: la Forêt sans terre||Borneo: Forests Without Land||Yes|
|22||1990||Andaman, les îles invisibles||Andaman Islands: Invisible Islands||Yes|
|10. Other releases II|
|7||1990||Scandale à Valdez||Outrage at Valdez||No|
|8||1990||Lilliput en Antarctique||Lilliput in Antarctica||Yes|
|11. Cousteau's Rediscovery of the World II|
|23||1990||Australie: à l’ouest du bout du monde||Australia: Out West, Down Under||Yes|
|24||1991||Australie: le peuple de la mer desséchée||Australia: People of the Dry Sea||Yes|
|25||1991||Australie: le peuple de l’eau et du feu||Australia: People of Fire and Water||Yes|
|26||1991||Australie: les trésors de la mer||Australia: Fortunes in the Sea||Yes|
|27||1991||Tasmanie, une île s'éveille||Tasmania: Australia’s Awakening Island||Yes|
|28||1991/1992||Indonésie: les vergers de l’enfer||Indonesia I: The Devil’s Orchard||Yes|
|29||1991/1992||Sumatra: le cœur de la mer||Indonesia II: Sumatra, the Heart of the Sea||Yes|
|30||1991/1992||Nauru, îlot ou planète||Nauru: The Island Planet||Yes|
|31||1991/1992||The Mirage of the Sea||N/A|
|32||1991/1992||La grand requin blanc, seigneur solitaire des mers||The Great White Shark — Lonely Lord of the Sea||No|
|33||1991/1992||Palawan, le dernier refuge||Palawan: The Last Refuge||Yes|
|34||1992/1993||Danube I: le lever de rideau||Danube I: The Curtain Rises||Yes|
|35||1992/1993||Danube II: le rêve de Charlemagne||Danube II: Charlemagne’s Dream||Yes|
|36||1992/1993||Danube III: les débordements du fleuve||Danube III: Cries of the River||Yes|
|37||1992/1993||Danube IV: les Débordements du Fleuve||Danube IV: Rivalries Overflow||Yes|
|38||1993||La société secrète des Cétacés||Bahamas: The Secret Societies of Dolphins and Whales||No|
|39||1993/1994||Mékong: le don de l’eau||Mekong: The Gift of Water||No|
|40||1993/1994||Vietnam et Cambodge: le riz et les fusils||Vietnam and Cambodia: Children of Rice and Guns||No|
|12. Other releases III|
|10||1995||Deeper, Farther, Longer||Yes|
|11*||1996||Les promisses de la mer||Yes|
|13. Cousteau's Rediscovery of the World III|
|41||1995||Madagascar I: l'île des esprits||Madagascar I: The Island Bleeds||Yes|
|42||1995||Madagascar II: l'île des esprits||Madagascar II: Madagascar, Island of Spirits||Yes|
|43||1996||Afrique du Sud: les diamants du désert||South Africa: Diamonds of the Desert||Yes|
|44||1996||Afrique du Sud: sanctuaires pour la vie||South Africa: Sanctuaries for Life||Yes|
|45||1996/1997||À travers la Chine par le fleuve Jaune||China: Across China with the Yellow River||Yes|
|46||1997/1999||Le lac Baïkal||Lake Baikal: Beneath the Mirror||Yes|
- S = short-length film;
- F = full-length film;
- other films have length 45 minutes;
- * = the film doesn't exist on official filmography;
- ** = the film's year is greater by one than on official filmography.
Books by Cousteau
- The Silent World (1953, with Frédéric Dumas)
- Captain Cousteaus Underwater Treasury (1959, with James Dugan)
- The Living Sea (1963, with James Dugan)
- World Without Sun (1965)
- The Undersea Discoveries of Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1970–1975, 8-volumes, with Philippe Diolé)
- The Shark: Splendid Savage of the Sea (1970)
- Diving for Sunken Treasure (1971)
- Life and Death in a Coral Sea (1971)
- The Whale: Mighty Monarch of the Sea (1972)
- Octopus and Squid: The Soft Intelligence (1973)
- Three Adventures: Galápagos, Titicaca, the Blue Holes (1973)
- Diving Companions: Sea Lion, Elephant Seal, Walrus (1974)
- Dolphins (1975)
- The Ocean World of Jacques Cousteau (1973–78, 21 volumes)
- Oasis in Space (vol 1)
- The Act of Life (vol 2)
- Quest for Food (vol 3)
- Window in the Sea (vol 4)
- The Art of Motion (vol 5)
- Attack and Defense (vol 6)
- Invisible Messages (vol 7)
- Instinct and Intelligence (vol 8)
- Pharaohs of the Sea (vol 9)
- Mammals in the Sea (vol 10)
- Provinces of the Sea (vol 11)
- Man Re-Enters Sea (vol 12)
- A Sea of Legends (vol 13)
- Adventure of Life (vol 14)
- Outer and Inner Space (vol 15)
- The Whitecaps (vol 16)
- Riches of the Sea (vol 17)
- Challenges of the Sea (vol 18)
- The Sea in Danger (vol 19)
- Guide to the Sea and Index (vol 20)
- Calypso (1978, vol 21)
- A Bill of Rights for Future Generations (1979)
- Life at the Bottom of the World (1980)
- The Cousteau United States Almanac of the Environment (1981, a.k.a. The Cousteau Almanac of the Environment: An Inventory of Life on a Water Planet)
- Jacques Cousteau's Calypso (1983)
- Marine Life of the Caribbean (1984, with James Cribb and Thomas H. Suchanek)
- Jacques Cousteau's Amazon Journey (1984, with )
- Jacques Cousteau: The Ocean World (1985)
- The Whale (1987, with Philippe Diolé)
- Jacques Cousteau: Whales (1988, with )
- The Human, The Orchid and The Octopus (and Susan Schiefelbein, coauthor; Bloomsbury 2007)
Books about Cousteau
- Undersea Explorer: The Story of Captain Cousteau (1957) by James Dugan
- Jacques Cousteau and the Undersea World (2000) by Roger King
- Jacques-Yves Cousteau: His Story Under the Sea (2002) by
- Jacques Cousteau: A Life Under the Sea (2008) by