Hello again and welcome to a new episode of the Aronnax podcast.
This is the podcast looking at the transformation of the shipping, ocean and maritime space. It is a podcast looking at the people, the technology and the environment of the seas, which if you did not know is why I chose the name Aronnax.
My name is Craig Eason and I run the Fathom World news website and help organisations with their events. Now, staying in the realm of French unwater science fiction, today’s episode is about one dream to turn science fiction into a science fact.
Fabien Cousteau is the grandson of Jacques Cousteau the French underwater explorer who revolutionised deep-water diving and filmmaking.
His family has since taken up the storytelling and sense of underwater wonder he developed and it is his son Fabien who has launched Proteus Group, a philanthropic business venture very much about opening a window to the opportunities under the ocean waves.
A well-known diver, documentary film maker in his own right Fabien Cousteau launched Proteus Group with the aim of raising the funds to build a permanent deep water research habitat. A place where scientists could live for months at a time to conduct their search, and film makers can reveal the wonders of the seas.
It was while I was moderating the recent IMO biofouling research and development Forum in London that I met Mark Patterson, Proteus chief scientist and experienced diver himself as well as Gary Rosewell, Proteus Partnership Director. Its their job to promote Proteus before any sponsors and to help make the Cousteau dream of a space station of the seas a reality.
I sat down with Gary and Mark in a quiet room at the headquarters of the international maritime organisation to ask them about the project, and started by asking Mark Patterson where the original idea for the project came from