Jan 16 2015
GUEST: Robert Wintner, aka Snorkel Bob, is the author of Reef Libre: An In-Depth Look at Cuban Exceptionalism and the Last, Best Reefs in the World. He also has a short film out by the same name and earlier books include Some Fishes I Have Known.
Keeping his word on relaxing the Cuba embargo, President Obama announced yesterday that travel and trade restrictions between the US and Cuba would be significantly eased. The move comes weeks after a surprise announcement by the President on a historic détente with Cuba. Most Americans will be able to travel to Cuba without requesting special permission from authorities, and spend money on the island nation using their credit cards.
But there is a dark side to the easing of travel restrictions. As an inadvertent result of the international isolation, Cuba has retained the world’s most pristine marine environment. Because of Cuba’s limited ability to purchase pesticides, the island has been forced to rely on entirely organic farming, avoiding the chemical run off into the ocean that plagues most industrialized nations. And, because of a ban on the aquarium trade, Cuba’s marine wildlife population is untouched. Additionally a non-existent tourist industry has protected marine life. As a result, a number of endangered animal and plant species thrive in Cuba, and its abundant coral reef formations are a global treasure.
Learn more about Robert Wintner’s work at snorkelbob.com.
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