Coral Reefs in Cuba Are Strong and Healthy, Expert Says

Coral Reefs in Cuba Are Strong and Healthy, Expert Says

Environment

Prensa Latina

Cuban coral reefs are preserved and in perfect health, despite the damage caused by hydrometeorological phenomena, said Maria de los Angeles Serrano, director of Cuba''s National Aquarium, on Thursday.

For our country it is important to have a strong and healthy coral reef, because this is the first defense against hurricanes and extreme phenomena, in addition to the climate change that also hits us, the Cuban specialist told Prensa Latina. During the 11th Congress of Marine Sciences, which meets until Friday at the capital's Convention Palace, Serrano explained that studies are being conducted in Cuba on coral reefs, linked to the organisms that make up the archipelago's biotic communities. In that sense, she emphasized the excellent conditions of the country's marine and coastal ecosystems, especially the mesophotic reefs at a depth of more than 40 meters. The scientist highlighted the joint work of the National Aquarium of Cuba and the Florida Aquarium of Tampa for the growth of corals, through the development of farms located on the Guanahacabibes peninsula, in the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio. These farms have increased the number of trees and work is being done mainly on the corals of the Acropora genus, of interest from the barrier reef point of view that our coasts must have to face the onslaught of meteorological phenomena, said the expert in marine sciences. Cleaning and maintenance work is also carried out, as well as an evaluation of the health status of each of the coral fragments located in the trees so that they can grow, and once they have grown, the coral reefs are restored. Cuba also works together with the United States and Mexico for the connectivity of the oceans, for which it collects samples and genetic study, with the aim of knowing the relationships of the species present in the western Caribbean, in this case, added Serrano. As part of the scientific program of this fourth day of debate of MarCuba 2018, conferences and panels related to water quality, the exploitation of fishing resources, the transfer and development of farming technology, as well as marine species and their relationship with nautical activities, among other topics, will also be developed.