Jacques Cousteau Underwater Reserve
Consider as one of the top diving sites in the north of the Caribbean Sea, “Jacques Cousteau” underwater reserve is a must-see and ideal site for diving and exploring the vivid coral and marine wildlife. The abundance of the Fauna and Flora is remarkable due to the natural hot springs flowing into the waters, creating a warm heaven for marine life. Located in front of Malendure beach in Bouillante Township (Basse-Terre Island), this marine area of 400 hectares including Pigeon Islets is part of the National Park of Guadeloupe. There are multiple possibilities to discover the reserve; you can do it whether by snorkelling along the shallow water reefs, scuba diving or visiting the coral from a glass-bottom boat.
Origin of the name
The name of the place comes from the captain Jacques Cousteau who has contributed to the innovation of modern underwater by co-developing the aqua lung. That is the reason why you will be able finding his underwater statue when visiting the site.
Fauna and Flora of the Cousteau Reserve
The clear waters that surround Pigeon Islets make “Jacques Cousteau” underwater Reserve a gorgeous and thriving shallow reef where you will be able to see marine animals such as coral reef sponges, gorgonians parrotfish, trumpetfish, barracuda, sea urchins, turtles, lobsters, shells, crayfish, eels, seahorses, crustaceans, surgeon fish, army sergeant and butterfly fish. If you are lucky enough you can also come across nurse sharks, rare animals which are disturbed by the presence of divers.
Protection of the Reserve
Jacques Cousteau was fascinated by the site’s vast biological diversity and has encouraged the protection of the reserve. Until 2009, fishing and mooring were prohibited but now as part of the National Park of Guadeloupe the protection of the reserve is strengthened.