60 Minutes & CNN’s Anderson Cooper recently did a story explaining how a majority of our reefs are in danger. In addition, they explained how protected reefs off the shore of Cuba have thrived because of the environmental protections put in place by the local government restricting fishing and other activities in these waters.
The Gardens of the Queen is a remote reef about 50 miles off the the Southern shore of Cuba. Being one of the most protected reefs around, aquatic life population has increased 30% – 50% since 1996 which is almost unheard of in most other areas around the globe. One major sign that this environment is thriving, besides its beauty, is the number of sharks surviving in this reef system. When diving in other areas around the Caribbean, sharks are often not seen or found in much fewer numbers. Many scientists feel this is because 90% of the shark population has been diminished due to over fishing.
Due to several factors, scientists believe there has been a 25% loss of the coral reef systems around the word over the past 20 years. These same scientists expect another 25% will be lost in the next 20 years if something is not done to protect these fragile ecosystems.
Please watch the following video and you will see how beautiful and abundant these ecosystems can be if the proper protections are put into place.