Cuba and U.S. to Study Coral Reefs

Havana, May 19.- Scientists from Cuba and the United States started a joint expedition to study the deep coral reefs surrounding the Caribbean island, the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment (CITMA) reported on Thursday.

The collaboration is part of the Biannual Working Plan under the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation for the Preservation and Management of Protected Marine Areas.

The agreement was signed in Havana on November 18, 2015, between the CITMA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Park Service under the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The expedition, which started on Wednesday, will take place on board the scientific ship Walton Smith and will conclude on June 13.

Its objective is to study the extension of Cuba’s deep coral reefs and compare their state of preservation and physical, genetic and ecological connectivity.

The project was designed by Cuban institutions like the National Aquarium, the Institute of Sciences of the Sea and the CITMA’s National Protected Areas Institute, and by U.S. counterparts such as the NOAA and the Florida Atlantic University.

According to the CITMA, the expedition will allow experts from the two countries to carry out joint research works and exchange experiences to pave the way for future research and to boost bilateral academic collaboration. (Prensa Latina)

Radio Cadena Agramonte, May 19, 2017

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