Sea Stars rest on a bed of eelgrass in Cuba’s Jardines de la Reina, Gardens of the Queen. This area, limited to tourism and development, is one of the most well preserved marine habitats in the world. It’s been said that what you see here today, is what you would have seen in the Florida Keys 150 years ago. It is proof that conservation efforts take collaboration from all the stakeholders; the Cuban government listens to the scientists and then works with business on sustainable practices. This is a formula that the rest of the world needs to work towards. With new business and tourism poised to impact the country in unprecedented ways, how will Gardens of the Queen be protected? Studies have shown that fish populations have increased by an average of 30% since this sanctuary was created.
It was an amazing experience getting to travel to Cuba for the first time and witnessing the Gardens of the Queen with @paulnicklen and the whole @sea_legacy team! The amount of life that can prosper on a reef with the right protection is mind blowing. I have dived in some amazing places around the world and this is right up there with Reefs in Raja Ampat and Micronesia which is surprising considering its in the Caribbean. I look forward to many more expeditions and partnerships with @paulnicklen and the whole @sea_legacy team, until next time!! . .
Video by @paulnicklen // The sharks and the big fish are the first animals to disappear when a reef ecosystem is under stress. We have just spent an incredibly uplifting week in Cuba’s Gardens Of The Queen National Marine Park, where sharks accompanied us on every dive. I was fascinated by how they followed us from the depth of the reef back to our boat. I never imagined that I would be so comfortable in the company of so many curious sharks. It was a carousel of grace and beauty and one I will never tire of witnessing. #followme on @paulnicklen to see my favorite moment with a shark from this dive. #turningthetide with @sea_legacy. With @cristinamittermeier, @samkretch, @andy_mann, @mdalio and @iankellett_story // #nature#naturelovers#explore#protect#oceans#love#beauty