Philippe Cousteau has continued his grandfather Jacque’s legacy of underwater exploration and he’s bringing his wife Ashlan along for the ride. The couple is part of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week this year and have landed their own special, titled “Nuclear Sharks.”
The couple’s series, “Nuclear Sharks” is “one of the most epic adventures” Ashlan Cousteau says she’s ever taken. In their special, the pair investigates an area that was previously used for nuclear testing to see how the environment has been impacted decades later.
“We went to the Marshall Islands which is where the U.S. did all of their nuclear testing during the Cold War so [the U.S.] set off over 60 radioactive bombs, and… annihilated entire islands and entire atolls were just decimated, the ecosystem was crashed, and in the years now nature has actually been able to rebound,” she told FOX411. “And to go out there and to see the coral and the fish and the hundreds of sharks that we came in contact with was just absolutely mind blowing and it just goes to show, yes, nature can rebound.”
While Philippe Cousteau was born into a family known for their love of the sea, Ashlan Cousteau was a veteran entertainment correspondent who went from the red carpet to diving with sharks all thanks to her husband.
“I figured I swim with sharks of Hollywood I might as well swim with the ones in the ocean, right?” she told us. “… I had always been a water baby growing up, and I love the water. I will swim in a puddle if I can. So when I first met Philippe we actually ended up talking the entire evening. We shut the restaurant down and all we talked about was animals, travel and our family, and it was really from our first day that we realized this is a mutual bond that we had, and we wanted to explore it and we wanted to bring people along on the adventures with us.”
It was her love for adventure and nature that solidified Philippe Cousteau affections for her.
“My favorite thing is that we were dating for about six months, and I asked Ashlan – her 30th birthday was coming up – what do you want to do for your 30th birthday? Here she said… ‘I want to dive with Great White sharks’ and I was like ‘that’s it, this is the woman for me. I’m sold.’ So it was definitely love at first sight,” he Philippe.
While the Cousteaus are professional shark divers, they said it’s important for shark enthusiasts to be respectful of the toothy fish.
“Whenever you’re in nature, be respectful. Don’t touch things. Don’t poke things. You’re just there to observe,” said Ashlan Cousteau, 35. “Be smart when you’re in the water and just remember the sharks aren’t there to bother you so just make sure you don’t bother them.”
Another shark safety tip is “don’t go splashing around in the water from dusk ‘til dawn because the lights not as good and they can’t see as well, and they may be more likely to opportunistically taste something – the only real way they can tell what it is,” Philippe Cousteau said.
He added, “Certainly shark attacks… often times they happen when people are fishing offshore or off a pier and then people are playing and there’s fish, dead fish, being drawn in so those are the kinds of stories that the press doesn’t often times cover that may help to contribute to sharks and people being around.”
“Nuclear Sharks” airs June 30 on the Discovery Channel.