Stamps commemorating the 25th anniversary of the death of diving pioneer Jacques Cousteau.

The Legacy of Jacques Cousteau 1910 - 1997

Issue date: 3rd October 2022

The Legacy of Jacques Cousteau 1910 - 1997, 50p The Legacy of Jacques Cousteau 1910 - 1997, 90p
The Legacy of Jacques Cousteau 1910 - 1997, £1.30 The Legacy of Jacques Cousteau 1910 - 1997, £1.60
202211 Mint Stamps (50p, 90p, £1.30, £1.60) £4.30
202212 First Day Cover (with 50p, 90p, £1.30, £1.60 stamps) £5.50

The Legacy of Jacques Cousteau 1910 - 1997: First day cover, set of stamps

Jacques Cousteau was a French naval officer, oceanographer, author and filmmaker.

In 1942-3, as a Naval Lieutenant, Cousteau and a French engineer Émile Gagnan invented the Aqua-Lung. Cousteau improved the Aqua-Lung design which led to the first open-circuit, self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (or SCUBA). This invention revolutionised underwater diving and was a major factor in the rapid development of recreational and professional scuba diving throughout the world. For Cousteau and Gagnan it allowed them to film and explore the underwater world more easily and to share their discoveries with the world.

When Cousteau set off aboard his ship Calypso to explore the world, the problems of pollution and over-exploitation were unheard of. After several decades of exploration and documentaries, households throughout the world had become informed and concerned for the fragility of the world and the need to protect the oceans and the environment for future generations.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau died of a heart attack on 25th June 1997 in Paris, two weeks after his 87th birthday. Cousteau's legacy includes more than 115 television documentaries, 50 books, and an environmental protection foundation. Cousteau liked to call himself an "oceanographic technician". He was a sophisticated showman, teacher and lover of nature. His work permitted many people to explore the resources of the oceans whilst his television series, in particular, informed, thrilled and inspired millions.

The Government of Tristan da Cunha has chosen to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the death of Jacques Cousteau with the release of this special stamp issue.

As the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, we recognise and have benefitted significantly from the inspiration and lead of Jacques Cousteau in the field of marine exploration. Tristan now has the largest Marine Protected Area in the South Atlantic, the fourth largest in the world. Of the other islands in the Tristan Archipelago (that are uninhabited), Gough Island and Inaccessible Island form a UNESCO World Heritage Site while Nightingale Island, Stoltenhoff and Alex Island also have globally significant biodiversity.

The legacy of Scuba diving from Cousteau was experienced by the first Tristanians diving at Gough in 2014 (FDC cover pic) and we even had the first diver certification at Inaccessible in 2021. Scuba diving at Tristan has been the portal for exploring and understating Tristan's unique underwater world.

These stamps celebrate the innovations of Jacques Cousteau who, through his pioneering writing and filmmaking inspired a generation of divers and scientists that have been able to teach us so much about the oceans that surround us.

Description of the Stamps

The stamps all include portraits of Jacques Cousteau:

50p - SP-350 Denise - Cousteau's 'Diving Saucer' - a two-man submarine built in 1959, and usually operated from his ship Calypso. It is capable of exploring depths of up to 400m (1,300 ft).

90p - Cousteau driving an underwater scooter - an electric powered machine he co-invented in 1954 to transport divers rapidly underwater.

£1.30 - A later more compact design of an underwater scooter.

£1.60 - The RV Calypso - Cousteau's main research research vessel. She was originally built as a minesweeper in 1941 for the Royal Navy, and served briefly after World War II as a ferry in Malta. Cousteau converted the ship into an expedition vessel in 1950. She sank at Singapore in 1996 due to an accident, but was refloated. There have since been various attempts at restoration.

First Day Cover - A Tristan islander on a diving survey at Gough Island.

Technical Specifications from Pobjoy Mint Ltd.

Designer:Andrew Robinson Printer:Cartor Security Printing
Stamp size:42 x 28mm Perforation:13¼ x 13½ per 2cms
Process:Stochastic Lithography Sheet Layout:10
Production Co-ordination:Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd