Last week aquanaut Fabien Cousteau completed "Mission 31"- a 31 day underwater research study investigating why coral reefs are dying.
The grandson of famed undersea explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau told Foxnews.com the mission was a “huge success” but initial findings show coral reefs are in “big trouble” due to ocean pollution.
“We were able to do over three years of scientific data collection in just 31 days because that platform gave us the luxury of time on our planet’s final frontier.”
Scientists are growing concerned over the future of coral reefs worldwide. Data shows a steady decline over the past 50 years with a 16.3 percent decrease just in the past decade, according to the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.
In completing the 31 day mission, Cousteau broke his grandfather’s record for consecutive time spent under the sea, and said for him, carrying on his family legacy of ocean conservation is “lifeblood, it is passion.”
“I was privileged enough and honored to be able to carry on this legacy and be surrounded by an alien world that really does give us the underpinning story of our very own lives that most people would never get a chance to see,” Cousteau said.
He says promoting ocean conservation through education and outreach is important.
The hope is “Mission 31” will get people interested and involved in protecting the oceans.
“If we can infuse our future generations with the passion of curiosity, of what’s outside there … maybe their parents to do the same- I think we have a much brighter future than where we are headed right now," Cousteau said.