Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute uncovers one of Cuba’s hidden natural treasures

Forty-three dives resulted in almost 20,000 underwater photographs of the never-before-studied mesophotic coral reefs during a month-long circumnavigation of the entire coast of Cuba.(Photo: Cuba’s Twilight Zone Reefs Expedition/CIOERT at FAU Harbor Branch)

An ocean exploration led by scientists from Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute spent months exploring never-before-studied mesophotic coral reefs along the entire coast of Cuba.

The team of scientists, from the U.S. and Cuba, discovered new species of sponges and range extensions or depth records for several species of corals, gorgonians, sponges, algae and fish, according to a news release.

Forty-three dives resulted in almost 20,000 underwater photographs of the never-before-studied mesophotic coral reefs during a month-long circumnavigation of the entire coast of Cuba. (Photo: Cuba’s Twilight Zone Reefs Expedition/CIOERT at FAU Harbor Branch)

Scientists took nearly 20,000 underwater photographs during the exploration and 100 hours of video.

Except for a few places along the coast, prior to this expedition, there were virtually no data or charts indicating what was beyond the shallow reef zone, the news release states.

See video here.

Dacia L Johnson, TC Palm

August 22, 2017

This entry was posted in Exchanges. Bookmark the permalink.