74+ Best Jacques-Yves Cousteau Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Jacques Yves Cousteau was 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. Inspirational Jacques-Yves Cousteau quotes will encourage growth in life, make you wiser and broaden your perspective.

Famous Jacques-Yves Cousteau Quotes

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

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. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive; in this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

In order to save the planet, it would be necessary to kill 350,000 people per day. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

We must plant the sea and herd its animals using the sea as farmers instead of hunters. That is what civilization is all about – farming replacing hunting. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

We know how to organize warfare, but do we know how to act when confronted with peace? – Jacques Yves Cousteau

We are human beings, and we have faith, and we have hope. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

It is certain that the study of human psychology, if it were undertaken exclusively in prisons, would also lead to misrepresentation and absurd generalizations. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

To restate an old law – when a man bites a fish, that’s good, but when a fish bites a man, that’s bad. This is one way of saying it’s all right if man kills an animal, but if an animal attacks man, the act is reprehensible. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

May this continent, the last explored by humankind, be the first one to be spared by humankind. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

Without ethics, everything happens as if we were all five billion passengers on a big machinery and nobody is driving the machinery. And it’s going faster and faster, but we don’t know where. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

Our society is turning toward more and more needless consumption. It is a vicious circle that I compare to cancer. Should we eliminate suffering, diseases? The idea is beautiful, but perhaps not a benefit for the long term. We should not allow our dread of diseases to endanger the future of our species. In order to stabilize world population, we need to eliminate 350,000 people a day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

The little bee returns with evening’s gloom, To join her comrades in the braided hive, Where, housed beside their might honey-comb, They dream their polity shall long survive. Charles Tennyson Turner – A Summer Night in the Bee Hive The happiness of the bee & the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to know that & to wonder at it. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

I said that the oceans were sick but they’re not going to die. There is no death possible in the oceans – there will always be life – but they’re getting sicker every year. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

With earth’s burgeoning human population to feed we must turn to the sea with understanding and new technology. We need to farm it as we farm the land. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

There are a few animals that have won themselves a bad reputation even though they have little or no effect on man. They have won their rating through man’s interpretation of their attitude towards lower animals. These animals have been seen feeding in what appears to be a savage manner. But this behavior may perhaps be comparable to a man tearing the flesh off a chicken leg with his teeth. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

And let us remember too that life, in its exuberance, always succeeds in overflowing the narrow limits within which man thinks he can confine it. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

The awareness of our environment came progressively in all countries with different outlets. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

A common denominator in every single nuclear accident – a nuclear plant or on a nuclear submarine – is that before the specialists even know what has happened, they rush to the media saying, ‘There’s no danger to the public.’ They do this before they themselves know what has happened because they are terrified that the public might react violently, either by panic or by revolt. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

The sea is not a bargain basement. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

I swam across the rocks and compared myself favorably with the sars. To swim fishlike, horizontally, was the logical method in a medium eight hundred times denser than air. To halt and hang attached to nothing, no lines or air pipe to the surface, was a dream. At night I had often had visions of flying by extending my arms as wings. Now I flew without wings. (Since that first aqualung flight, I have never had a dream of flying.) – Jacques Yves Cousteau

The real cure for our environmental problems is to understand that our job is to salvage Mother Nature. We are facing a formidable enemy in this field. It is the hunters… and to convince them to leave their guns on the wall is going to be very difficult. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

I am not a scientist. I am, rather, an impresario of scientists. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

Population growth is the primary source of environmental damage. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

There was wildlife, untouched, a jungle at the border of the sea, never seen by those who floated on the opaque roof. Describing his early experience, in 1936, when a fellow naval officer, Philippe Tailliez, gave him goggles to see below the Mediterranean Sea surface. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

We have to prepare for what life could become in 40 years. We need to outline what is possible and what is impossible with the non-renewable resources of the Earth. What role will technological improvement play? Taking all this into account, what kind of life can we produce in the best way for 10 billion people? That’s a problem that needs to be solved. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

I believe that national sovereignties will shrink in the face of universal interdependence. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

The biggest obstacle was mixing abortion with overpopulation. These are two things that have nothing to do with each other. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

If human civilization is going to invade the waters of the earth, then let it be first of all to carry a message of respect. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

We must alert and organise the world’s people to pressure world leaders to take specific steps to solve the two root causes of our environmental crises – exploding population growth and wasteful consumption of irreplaceable resources. Overconsumption and overpopulation underlie every environmental problem we face today. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

Perhaps the time has come to formulate a moral code which would govern our relations with the great creatures of the sea as well as with those on dry land. That this will come to pass is my dear wish. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to know that and to wonder at it. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

Overconsumption and overpopulation underlie every environmental problem we face today – Jacques Yves Cousteau

No sooner does man discover intelligence than he tries to involve it in his own stupidity. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

What is a scientist after all? It is a curious man looking through a keyhole, the keyhole of nature, trying to know what’s going on. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

If we go on the way we have, the fault is our greed and if we are not willing to change, we will disappear from the face of the globe, to be replaced by the insect. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

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. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

It takes generosity to discover the whole through others. If you realize you are only a violin, you can open yourself up to the world by playing your role in the concert. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

The future of nutrition is found in the oceans – Jacques Yves Cousteau

All life is part of a complex relationship in which each is dependent upon the others, taking from, giving to and living with all the rest. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

Through the window of my mask I see a wall of coral, its surface a living kaleidoscope of lilac flecks, splashes of gold, reddish streaks and yellows, all tinged by the familiar transparent blue of the sea. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

A lot of people attack the sea, I make love to it. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

The road to the future leads us smack into the wall. We simply ricochet off the alternatives that destiny offers. Our survival is no more than a question of 25, 50 or perhaps 100 years. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

Buoyed by water, he can fly in any direction – up, down, sideways – by merely flipping his hand. Under water, man becomes an archangel. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

However fragmented the world, however intense the national rivalries, it is an inexorable fact that we become more interdependent every day. I believe that national sovereignties will shrink in the face of universal interdependence. 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. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

I am absolutely enraptured by the atmosphere of a wreck. A dead ship is the house of a tremendous amount of life-fish and plants. The mixture of life and death is mysterious, even religious. There is the same sense of peace and mood that you feel on entering a cathedral. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

Man, of all the animals, is probably the only one to regard himself as a great delicacy. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

The future is in the hands of those who explore… and from all the beauty they discover while crossing perpetually receding frontiers, they develop for nature and for humankind an infinite love. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

The best way to observe a fish is to become a fish. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

The reason I love the sea I cannot explain – it’s physical. When you dive you begin to feel like an angel. It’s a liberation of your weight. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

People protect what they love. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

In the deep space of the sea I have found my moon – Jacques Yves Cousteau

We are living in an interminable succession of absurdities imposed by the myopic logic of short-term thinking. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

I was playing when I invented the aqualung. I think play is the most serious thing in the world. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

Sometimes we are lucky enough to know that our lives have been changed, to discard the old, embrace the new, and run headlong down an immutable course – Jacques Yves Cousteau

The United Nation’s goal is to reduce population selectively by encouraging abortion, forced sterilization, and control of human reproduction, and regards two-thirds of the human population as excess baggage, with 350,000 people to be eliminated per day. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

No aquarium, no tank in a marine land, however spacious it may be, can begin to duplicate the conditions of the sea. And no dolphin who inhabits one of those aquariums or one of those marine lands can be considered normal. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

Mankind has probably done more damage to the Earth in the 20th century than in all of previous human history. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

It is fashionable nowadays to talk about the endless riches of the sea. The ocean is regarded as a sort of bargain basement, but I don’t agree with that estimate. People don’t realize that water in the liquid state is very rare in the universe. Away from earth it is usually a gas. This moisture is a blessed treasure, and it is our basic duty, if we don’t want to commit suicide, to preserve it. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

There are no boundaries in the real Planet Earth. No United States, no Soviet Union, no China, no Taiwan…Rivers flow unimpeded across the swaths of continents. The persistent tides – the pulse of the sea – do not discriminate; they push against all the varied shores on Earth. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

When we return wild animals to nature, we merely return them to what is already theirs. For man cannot give wild animals freedom, they can only take it away. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

The sea is the universal sewer. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

We must go and see for ourselves. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

I wake up saying, I’m still alive; a miracle. And so, I keep on pushing. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

Farming as we do it is hunting, and in the sea, we act like barbarians. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

How dangerous are those sea animals with bad reputations? A few actually kill. A few maim. Some are poisonous when eaten by man. Most sting, stab, or poison and cause mild to severe discomfort to man. Yet man is one of the larger beings that sea creatures encounter, and these poisons usually can’t kill him. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

Man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

Under water, man becomes an archangel. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

I experimented with all possible maneuvers-loops, somersaults and barrel rolls. I stood upside down on one finger and burst out laughing, a shrill, distorted laugh. Nothing I did altered the automatic rhythm of the air. Delivered from gravity and buoyancy, I flew around in space. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

There is about as much educational benefit to be gained in studying dolphins in captivity as there would be studying mankind by only observing prisoners held in solitary confinement. – Jacques Yves Cousteau

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