Southwest of the island of Cuba, an underwater wonderland of sea plants and creatures thrives. It’s the natural and untouched Caribbean, protected from humanity for generations – and so-called progress.
JARDINES DE LA REINA, Cuba — The six-foot Caribbean reef shark came out of the water thrashing, and Fabián Pina Amargós and his crew quickly pulled it into the research boat.
A team set to work, immobilizing the shark’s mouth and tail, pouring water over it to keep it breathing and inserting a yellow plastic tag into a small hole punched in its dorsal fin.
“What is its condition?” Dr. Pina’s wife, Tamara Figueredo Martín, asked.
“Excellent, the condition is excellent,” Dr. Pina said, before the team pulled out the hook, carefully lifted the shark up and tossed it back into the ocean.
A marine biologist and director of Cuba’s Center for Coastal Ecosystem Research, Dr. Pina has spent much of his career studying the abundance of fish and other wildlife in this archipelago 50 miles off the country’s south coast, a region so fecund it has been called the Galápagos of the Caribbean.
Continued at The Times….