U.S.-Cuba Pact Advances Efforts to Protect Shared Marine Life from Rising Threats

Statement from Dan Whittle, Director, EDF Cuba program

October 5, 2015
Matt Smelser, (202) 572-3272, msmelser@edf.org

(Valparaiso, Chile – October 5, 2015) A new agreement announced today between the United States and Cuba significantly advances efforts to protect the oceans we share against rising threats caused by manmade activity. The announcement came at the opening of the Our Ocean conference in Chile.

As part of an ongoing effort to improve relations between the United States and Cuba, officials from each country announced their agreement to collaborate on science, outreach and education regarding marine protected areas in the two countries’ shared waters. Environmental Defense Fund has been working with the Cuban government for more than a decade on environmental issues including the establishment of an island-wide network of marine protected areas. In 2010, EDF began facilitating a dialogue between fishery and park officials and scientists in the two countries that laid the foundation for today’s agreement.

“The invisible lines in the ocean that have separated us for nearly six decades are disappearing. Scientists in the U.S. and Cuba can begin working together to protect our shared waters, which are home to a vast array of biodiversity, from the mounting threats of overfishing, pollution, and climate change.

“EDF is proud of the work we have done to increase scientific collaboration between the U.S. and Cuba. We have so much to gain by working together.”


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