HAVANA, Aug. 4th The Bojeo a Cuba project carries out important investigations in the marine environment of the Cuban archipelago, some of which are undertaken for the first time in the Greater Antilles.This was confirmed by telephone to Granma, from the Oceans for Youth ship, by Patricia González Díaz, Ph.D. in Sciences, president of the Scientific Council of the Center for Marine Research (CIM) of the University of Havana, one of the leading institutions of this scientific expedition, which began on July 18 in the Avilanian port of Júcaro, together with the Environment Agency of the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment, the Avalon Marlin Company and the audiovisual production company Naturaleza Secreta de Cuba.
He specified that among them appear, the evaluation of the presence of microplastics in the entire water column around our marine platform and the measurement of acidification levels in that very scenario, work carried out by young researchers from the Center for Environmental Studies of Cienfuegos.
Likewise, the study of the microbiology of coral reefs is carried out, by specialists from the Institute of Marine Sciences.
As indicated by Dr. Patricia González, among the first results of the Bojeo, the discovery, in one of the explored sites in Puerto Padre, of several large, healthy, and very vital colonies, of a species of coral in danger of extinction throughout the world, stands out. the Caribbean region, known as staghorn, whose scientific name is Acropora cervicornis, of great importance in the dimensionality of the reef.
Unfortunately, she asserted, we also observed turtle shells and nets placed on the reefs, evidence of illegal fishing activity.
Regarding the state of the corals, Dr. González Díaz pointed out that they detected a high incidence of bleaching events in Pilón and Baracoa, linked to the effect of high sea temperatures.
After leaving the town of Puerto Padre early on Monday, the Oceans for Youth ship arrived at the port of Nuevitas, in the north of Camagüey.
Considered an expression of the national capacity and will to address marine management and conservation in the most dissimilar edges, the Bojeo has the fundamental purpose of evaluating the health of coral reefs, including their density and diversity, and that of large predators. , particularly sharks.
It is also proposed to obtain information on the current state of populations of fish, sea urchins and other species, as well as the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and coastal communities.
The expedition will last approximately seven weeks, a period in which it will cover some 5,700 kilometers of the north and south coasts of Cuba.