Legal & use rights

The Cousteau Society and Equipe Cousteau are two financially distinct organizations. Both are not-for-profit, their funds coming mainly from donors and members.


Founded in 1973 by Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the Society has more than 50,000 members worldwide. Under the leadership of President Francine Cousteau, the Society continues to carry out unique explorations and observations of ecosystems throughout the world that have helped millions of people understand and appreciate the fragility of life on our Water Planet. Half a century of protecting water systems has expanded to embrace a wide variety of programs to encourage communities to achieve sustainable harmony.

Headquartered in Hampton, Virginia, membership-supported, not-for-profit environmental educational organization, the Society is dedicated to the protection and improvement of the quality of life for present and future generations.


Equipe Cousteau, a sister organization to the Cousteau Society, was founded by Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau in France as Fondation Cousteau in 1982. The name was changed to Equipe Cousteau in 1992 to reflect its membership-based advocacy. Sharing the goals and resources of the US-based Cousteau Society, headquartered in Paris, Equipe Cousteau has allowed the Cousteau mission to strengthen its status as an international effort of preservation and progress.

Headquartered in Paris, France, membership-supported, not-for-profit environmental and educational organization, Equipe Cousteau, just like The Cousteau Society, is dedicated to the protection and improvement of the quality of life for present and future generations. 
Independent, licensed experts audit the annual financial reports of The Cousteau Society and Equipe Cousteau.


At the time of its incorporation in 1973, Captain Cousteau granted The Cousteau Society with an exclusive worldwide perpetual royalty-free licence to use his name, his image, his works, his signature and trademarks. Since then, this license has been continuously used.

This agreement, formalized in writing in 1995, has been used worldwide in legal actions to have The Cousteau Society’s rights recognized.

Photo of Agreement: Agreement JYC and TCS The Cousteau Society delegates these rights to no other party.The Cousteau Society uses these rights for its own activities and activities of the not-for- profit associations Equipe Cousteau and Cousteau Divers.

Due to this license, the law applicable in some countries to the use of the image, the name and the works of a deceased public figure, does not apply to Captain Cousteau. Violators will be prosecuted, as they were when Captain Cousteau was alive.


The use of the Cousteau name, and the significance attached to Captain Cousteau’s image and works, are exclusive rights of the associations The Cousteau Socicety, Equipe Cousteau and Cousteau Divers.

Any use of Captain Cousteau’s name and renown by third parties will be considered as counterfeit and be prosecuted.

The names Calypso and Alcyone are copyrighted trademarks and the exclusive property of The Cousteau Society.

Any abuse must be reported to

Saving and protecting marine life for present and future generations since 1973