Cuba: Preserving the Cradle of the Caribbean

Cayo Largo (“Key Largo”) is part of a chain of about 350 small islands and keys that together comprise the Canarreos Archipelago. The key is a critically important nesting site for endangered sea turtles, which depend upon its safe, isolated, and unlit beaches. Its healthy and abundant coral reefs, sea grass beds, and mangrove forests provide breeding, nursery and feeding grounds for many commercial fish species that populate the southern Gulf of Batabanó, Cuba’s most productive and economically fishing grounds. Anglers from around the world come to fish the flats for prized bonefish, tarpon and snook. Its shallow reefs, sandy beaches, and slow pace are also a draw — tourism is an important and growing industry in Cuba.

This spring a team from EDF went to Cayo Largo to get an on-the-ground look at efforts to protect the key’s rich marine life, coastal ecosystems and biodiversity amidst tourism development and other activities. Experience what we found there by watching this short video “Cuba: Preserving the Cradle of the Caribbean”

Like in so many areas in Cuba, Cayo Largo’s natural beauty and rich biodiversity are its biggest assets that, if well-protected, will provide a backbone for robust and sustainable economic growth in the years to come. EDF is working with Cuban scientists and environmental officials to identify ways to integrate coastal management with sustainable fishing and marine protected areas.

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One Comment

  1. gary merenstein
    Posted August 15, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Look forward to hearing any progress, etc., on the part of the EDF helping to protect this area and others like it. thanks for your work. gary merenstein