A crew of CBS “60minutes” grabbed an underwater video camera and went diving with marine biologists on what can be the most healthy and vibrant of all Caribbean reefs. The place is called The Gardens of The Queen and it’s a patch of islands 50 miles from Cuba’s mainland. In 1996 this area was declared a Marine Preserve by Fidel Castro’s government, banning all commercial fishing and making it inaccessible for tourists (only 1000 divers can visit these waters every year).
Just by watching the underwater footage showcasing this beautiful reef one can tell that the conservation efforts implemented here are a huge success…
The reef at The Gardens of The Queen is timing with life- hard corals, colorful sponges and anemones are all in great shape while the abundance of fish species is breathtaking. Most surprising is the amount of large predators these waters host, a sign of a healthy, undisturbed ecosystem. The shark population is far greater than on any other reefs in Caribbean, same as barracudas or critically endangered Goliath Grouper.
All those elements prove that a well-maintained conservation program, no close proximity to urban and agricultural waste as well as commercial fishing ban lead to a healthy, undisturbed ecosystem that is able to recover quickly from natural disasters. In future, this patch of reef could be a role model for conservation efforts around the globe.
Click on the link below to see the video: