Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau

You might know him or may be not…yet.
Thanks to him and after more than 130 documentaries, the invention of the first regulator “Aqualung”, his pioneer work to the research of the underwater world and environment, founder of the first worldwide recreational scuba diving organization, is what scuba diving is today.
Yes, he is the father of us all in this magic world of recreational scuba diving.

Here our tribute to Capt. Jacques-Yves Cousteau

The intense life of Captain Cousteau and the contribution of his work is revealed in the book  “My Father, The Captain: My Life with Jacques Cousteau” written by his son Jean-Michel Cousteau and is summarized in this letter.

The more I look back on my father, Jacques Cousteau, and his legacy, the more I realize how much he is a part of our times and how, had we listened more carefully, things might be different.

He was a pioneer who broke barriers with his inventions, like the Aqualung and underwater cameras, but he was also a visionary in the sense that he understood the consequences of the trends he witnessed. He foresaw the risks of nuclear technology and waste; he projected the devastating results of overfishing, overexploitation of habitat, and climate change; and he spoke consistently about population growth and the strain on the natural system.

Jacques Cousteau, along with my brother and I, founded one of the earliest environmental organizations to communicate the issues we were encountering and to educate an international audience. He wrote the draft of “The Rights of Future Generations” for the United Nations as a vehicle to embody the principle of sustainability and responsible resource management. He constantly exercised his brilliant intellect in the service of global solutions. He never stopped until, in his words, he was “unplugged.”

He wielded another power that is rare—he poetically made sense of the incomprehensible and gave us each a way of looking at the world that made action possible. For example, on an isolated riverbank in the Amazon, just as we had released a rescued sea otter named Cacha, my father turned to me, full of emotion, and said, “Jean-Michel, people protect what they love.” That became for me a motto of my father’s work and an emblem of the commitment we all must make to the world that surrounds us.

Jean-Michel Cousteau

Jean-Michel Cousteau and Pablo Canestro (TBD Course Director) on 1999, during CMAS General Assembly.

Capt. Jacques-Yves Cousteau and CMAS History

On the 28th of September 1958, delegates from the following Federations: Federal Republic of Germany, Belgium, Brazil, France, Greece, Italy, Monaco, Portugal, Switzerland, the United States of America and Yugoslavia met in Brussels on the occasion of the congress of the independent International Confederation gathering all underwater disciplines.

Luigi Ferraro & Jacques-Yves Cousteau at the plenary meeting in which the CMAS was founded.

With this aim, a plenary meeting presided by Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau  was held in Monaco on January 9th, 10th and 11th, 1959 and a decision to establish the “World Confederation of Underwater Activities” in brief “CMAS” (the acronym of its French title Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatique), was taken.

CMAS - World Underwater Federation

This Confederation succeeded, specifically in regard to all functions and responsibilities, the “Comité des Sports Sous-Marins” (Underwater Sports Committee) of the International Confederation of Sport Fishing founded on the 22nd of February 1952.

With this background CMAS is the world’s oldest and most extensive diver training organization and is recognised worldwide as the number one and first Scuba Diving certifying international agency and by now it comprises over 130 federations from 5 continents. In addition to organizing international underwater sport events it is at the forefront of technical and scientific research and development.The Olympic Movement It can be associated with elaborating one of the oldest and most extensive dive training systems.

Furthermore, the CMAS is the only Diving Certification Agency that is part of the Olympic Movement as one of the International Sports Federations (IFs) that integrate its governance thus all the Underwater Sports are recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) only through CMAS.

CMAS also is recognized by:


Sport Accord

The World Games Collaborative worldwide campaign for doping-free sport

CMAS-PADI Agreement


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