"I killed a lot of fish in my youth. But later I went with Cousteau, and with a team of scientists, and through them I understood what was happening to the world. It was then that I completely changed my tune. I threw away my harpoon to take up a camera." --Albert Falco, from the trailer to the film L'Oceanaute
Underwater explorer Albert Falco, who dove with Jacques Cousteau and captained The Calypso, died at his home in Marseille, France, at the age of 84 on April 21.
"Captain Falco saw the diminishment of biodiversity in our oceans over a span of nearly seven decades," said Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd. "He was dedicated to the protection of life and habitats in the sea. He was a legendary mariner, diver, oceanographer, and conservationist. The world is a better place because of him."
Falco started diving with Cousteau in the early 1950s and introduced many to the oceans in the documentary The Silent World. While many of the scenes in that film would not pass muster today—dynamite fishing, harpooning a whale, clubbing sharks—the head diver of The Calypso would later become a conservationist and eventually take a spot on the board of Sea Shepherd. To get an idea for his journey, read this obituary in The Washington Post and check out the trailer to the movie about his life, L'Oceanaute.