Reef Libre: CubaThe Last, Best Reefs in the World by Robert Wintner
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing; Har/DVD edition (February 1, 2015)
Cuba reefs host apex predators and coral cover at optimal levels. While Cuban reef vitality may be linked to economic default and no shoreline development, no agricultural pesticides or fertilizers and limited human population growth, the Castro regime is aggressively developing its reef potential.
Seas to the south are now 100% shark protected.
Most Cuba travelogues advise “getting off the beaten path,” but Reef Libre examines that path, to see where it might lead as things change. Will Cuba reefs remain protected? Or is this perilous age of natural decline a last chance to see a healthy reef system?
Robert Wintner and the Snorkel Bob Jardines de la Reina Expedition herein provide narrative insight with photos and video. First stop is the baseline: Havana urban density. Down south at Cayo Largo, reef collapse seems imminent with 600 guests changing daily, and the phosphate-laden laundry water flowing directly to the deep blue sea. Will Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism step up with the Jardines de la Reina paradigm? Rising from the Golfo de Ana María, Jardines is a thousand square miles of mangrove estuary, for ages compromised by constant extraction of its biggest predators, taken as food. Protected, it now rises on the world reef stage.
A DVD comes with the book in a paper sleeve glued to the inside cover. Reef Libre, the movie, runs about an hour.
I love anything to do with the water and this book is full of info on the reefs of Cuba, the cities and people, and information about their culture. I loved learning about the people and places of Cuba through this book, and loved the beautiful photos of the people and the sea.
The DVD that comes with the book was wonderful. This would make a great gift and also a great book to have out on your coffee table. Anyone interested in Cuba and/or it’s history, reefs, the sea etc. would really appreciate this book. It’s one you can look at over and over and also watch the DVD from time to time.