Cuba-USA Expedition Ends Coral Reef Research

Featured Cuba-USA Expedition Ends Coral Reef Research

Cuban and US scientists have ended a joint exploration along the island''s coral reefs, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA) reported today.

Researchers from both nations, in two working stages, collected samples and obtained data to analyze the preservation of deeper barrier reefs, the Cuban ministry reported.

The first stage (May 17-29) covered all over the north and south coasts of western and central regions of Cuba, from Havana to Cienfuegos province.

The second stage (May 31-June 11) continued along the south coast until returning to the capital.

In the research works, scientists had the opportunity to use a remotely operated vehicle owned by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, which was capable of diving down up to 300 meters depth and recording high-quality video images and pictures.

The bilateral research was aimed at describing the distribution of Cuba´s mesophotic coral reefs, comparing its conditions and physical, genetic and ecological connectivity with those from the Gulf of Mexico and the Southeastern United States.

The 28-day expedition was part of the Plan of Activities passed by both nations for implementing the Memorandum of Understanding on Protected Marine Areas.

Such a document was signed by the US National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA) and the National Parks Services and CITMA in November 2015.

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