Cousteau claims comments ‘misconstrued’

| 09/12/2019 | 41 Comments
Cayman News Service
Ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau

(CNS): Jean-Michel Cousteau of the Ocean Futures Society has issued another statement about the Cayman Islands’ cruise port project where he appears to walk back a statement made last week, but it is still not clear where he stands on the potential destruction of at least a dozen acres of some of Cayman’s healthiest reefs. In this letter to the Cayman people, Cousteau admits his association with Carnival Corporation but urges government to host an open forum with representatives from both sides.

The famous ocean explorer found himself in the middle of the public debate in the Cayman Islands about the increasingly unpopular cruise berthing proposal after he appeared in a video on behalf of Cruise Port Referendum, in which he expressed deep concern about the project and criticised government for its reluctance to support the referendum. Then just last week he appeared to completely change his mind and stated that he had seen the new plans and his concerns were alleviated.

The video was recorded in August. Shortly after that Cousteau signed a deal to become an environmental advisor with Carnival cruise line, one of the partners of the group selected by government to build the piers if the people are unable to stop the project. The cruise company has one of the worst reputations for polluting the ocean and air due to poor waste-management and emissions control.

In the short statement released last week, Cousteau made no mention of the Carnival deal. But since it was published on CNS, the public has been outraged not only that Cousteau would join forces with a cruise line with such a terrible environmental record but also that the deal seemed to indicated he no longer felt strongly about the significant impact this project will have on Cayman’s world famous marine habitat.

CNS understands that there has been a flood of complaints from here to Cousteau’s foundation, which has prompted another response, in which he suggested his previous statement was “misused and misconstrued”.

Government had ‘cut and paste ‘part of Cousteau’s statement focusing in on his positive comments and widely circulated it on social media.

In this latest letter Cousteau was vague about his position on the project, though he admitted that while these more recent plans are an improvement on the last ones, there are still concerns, and he urged all the parties to come together in a room in front of the public.

See the latest statement from Cousteau in the CNS Library

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Comments (41)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Son of famous TV show host, who doesn’t reside in the Cayman Islands, somehow gets a sneak VIP preview of the redacted proposal, that the public and groups in the country it actually concerns, have been asking to see, and can’t yet review themselves. Then proposes with audacity that both sides need to rely on “science” that would universally conclude, that destruction results from removing 450,000 cu yards of inhabited submarine material. Why not just pick a lane? Further, there is no discussion that can smooth over what this Cabinet are doing, or the tactics they are using, or their refusal to be transparent in all facets of their temporary stations. You’re either in one lane or the other.

  2. Anonymous says:


  3. Anonymous says:

    He is nothing like his father. Hi father must be rolling in his grave.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I just have to ask, how much did it take to sell us out? I know hes not from here and probably doesn’t actually give half a S&%T about our future but how much did it take?

    What was our future worth to him?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Mr Cousteau, – thank you for your explanation, a few things that remain a little vague though.

    From your press release of the Carnival Partnership

    “We are all connected to the ocean in some way no matter where we live, and it is clear that the health and vitality of the world’s oceans depend on our collective global commitment to preserving the environment that we all share,” said Cousteau. “As we look to the future, we have a responsibility and opportunity to demonstrate the importance of the world’s oceans, while supporting and protecting them with sound environmental policies. We look forward to working with Carnival Corporation to further enhance its environmental initiatives, and we commend the company’s long-term commitment to environmental stewardship and excellence.”

    Whilst I applaud ‘the Partnership’ initiative, our Cruise Port isn’t about ‘creating sound environmental policies’ (unless its in the new plans) – this is about destroying the environment and slighting ‘our collective global commitment to preserving the environment that we all share.

    I don’t get it, but there seems to be alternating changes in direction, from being unable to ‘passively observe the destruction of our water planet and its natural resources, our global heritage’ to ‘reviewing the most recent plans’ and ‘being impressed by the the amount of work that has gone into responding to the concerns raised by members of the Cayman Islands community. Now is the time for all interested parties in the community to get an understanding of the latest plans and collectively determine what is best for the Cayman Islands’

    So which one is it, adhere to preserving the environment or giving the green light to destroy it for development if we think best, – I don’t believe any plans at this point have a scheme where the environment doesn’t get wrecked and as such a little unclear where Ocean Futures is guiding me. Perhaps in offering ‘to assist in any ways that are helpful’ we could start with that. – thank you.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Cousteau please confirm if or not you are currently or ever accepted payments from the cruise lines.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I heard you loud and clear the first time sir..

  8. Anonymous says:

    C’mon Jerry Jean McGuire, just say it already, “Show Me The Money”

  9. Anonymous says:

    Don’t have many goods coming in 7.19pm????…..ALL your goods are imported to this island!! There’s no industry here! You aren’t self sufficient.
    A couple of chickens don’t count as industry. Even the milk is imported.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Sell out

  11. Anonymous says:

    Sorry Inspector Clouseau, you cannot sit on the fence with this.

    At a time when coral reefs are rapidly dying because of bleaching, blast fishing, over fishing, and climate change, one cannot be for marine conservation AND the destruction of a coral reef. It does not compute.

    Pick a side.


  12. Anonymous says:

    You are disgracing your Dad! He is a great legend you are a fraud!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Wow Cayman Government intentionally misleading the public ?

    Tsk tsk. Bad government. Bad.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Too little, too late!

  15. Anonymous says:

    He is no credibility anymore, needs to go far far away. Another one trying to sucker our 2x:4 Rock.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The guy is clearly not the sharpest knife in the block…how can you walk that back after taking money from a cruise line?

  17. Anonymous says:

    “Cousteau claims comments ‘misconstrued’”

    That his comments were misconstrued was clear to anyone who read his actual statement. At no time did he endorse the port, yet people proceeded to act as if he had.

    • Anonymous says:

      OK then answer this – how does someone who claims he is committed to the health of the oceans and its wildlife end up taking dollars from a cruise ship company with an awful environmental record?

      • Anonymous says:

        All I can think is he is trying to fix and help where he can, from a workable situation. Not condoning it, just trying to understand why he would partner with floating toilets.

        • Anonymous says:

          I mean if he wants to help his family with some side cash why not give old Attenborough a call and ask to make a documentary on new technologies that could actually save the environment.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh I’m not trying to say that him taking money from the cruise line isn’t questionable.

        I was referring specifically to his statement, which the Premier (and others) responded to as if it was a ringing endorsement for the port, which it wasn’t.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Sure, Jean-Michel! I’ve got some lovely oceanfront property in Arizona which might interest you, great diving!!

  19. Something is rotten in the state of Cayman --- Vote No says:

    And now he has further responded again saying: “The intent of my statement has been misconstrued by people on both sides of this issue and perhaps even misused by some.”

    * I would assume if that last bit was referring to CPR this statement would have come a lot sooner than this week, which in a not so subtle way proves this response is to dispel the idea by the pro port side that he now supports the project*

    The Cayman Islands government and the greedy groups who have been pushing this project for their own financial benefit for years, misconstruing a statement to fit their own narrative, you say?

    Perish the though
    How about that
    Never in a million years
    The wonders never cease
    Well I’ll be
    Who could have possibly seen this coming
    Is this the part where I act surprised?

    *Note not a peep from “Cayman’s Port Cayman’s Future”, or the government who have been running nonstop ads acting as if he is endorsing the project

    Anyone who supports this project deserves to be scammed
    Vote no

  20. Anonymous says:

    Take a hike. Vote No

  21. Anonymous says:


  22. Anonymous says:

    money! it does wonders☺😃😂😀😁

  23. Anonymous says:

    LOL, that’s what I call a climb down. I wonder if it had anything to do with the rumours (and in fairness that’s still all they are) that some of Ocean Futures backers have threatened to pull the plug on their funding over the tie up with Carnival?

    As for the face-to-face meeting? What would it achieve? It’d be a bit like the on-going election debates in the UK – complete BS. What we need are facts and a complete release of every piece of documentation from both sides outlining the environmental and financial impact of this project. We also need to be told who is funding both sides of the argument and who has vested interests here. Anything less is meaningless.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Ah the evasive bumblings of Inspector Jean-Michel Clouseau

  25. Anonymous says:

    Cayman needs a Cargo port yes, the planned cruise ship dock is a shopping mall center for cruise ship passengers.
    A Cargo dock can be put in east end in deeper waters.
    Cruiseships shouldn’t even be in the smb waters to start with.

    You don’t have to be a scientist to understand the damage theses cruise ships cause. I doubt Caymanian have been next to the oasis ships the sheer size of theses would be taller than any structure built in Cayman.

    The waste and destruction these ships cause and the penny we receive isn’t worth it in the long run.

    • Anonymous says:

      The cargo should be moved. And we shouldn’t allow cruise shippers anymore. Or more than 1 ship a day. We also don’t need a bigger cargo area as we don’t have that many goods coming in.

  26. Concerned Diver says:

    Obviously didn’t like all the negative criticism and the Govt promoting his “on the fence” press release as “approval” of their plans and behaviour. Still green washing. Still being paid by Carnival and still pretty pathetic! Jean-Money-Cousteau!

    • Anonymous says:

      Government was wrong for that one.

      Cousteau: I’m impressed by the efforts being made, Cayman’s people need to come together and decide what is best for their future.

      Government: We are pleased to see that Cousteau has come to his senses and now 100% supports the port.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Well, Cousteau, make up your mind. Do you want to be paid by the cruise ship industry or defend the oceans?

  28. Anonymous says:

    Trying to safe face. Too late bud… We all know you’re an eco-fraud and a SELLOUT!!!

  29. Captain Obvious says:

    CIG cutting and pasting excepts to fit their narrative… NAH…..That would never happen, would it?

  30. Anonymous says:

    So French…why don’t you man-splain it to us Cousteau, and use your hands.


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