The Remarkable Reefs Of Cuba
Hopeful Stories From the Ocean Doctor
by David E. Guggenheim
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Pub Date 01 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 12 Oct 2023
Since 1970, the Caribbean has lost half of its coral reefs, an ominous and accelerating phenomenon that extends around the world. Beyond the unfathomable heartbreak of the loss of such exquisite beauty from the earth, coral’s loss represents the annual loss of billions of dollars from the global economy and the end of a way of life for billions that depend on these ecosystems. Marine scientist and conservation leader Dr. David E. Guggenheim has had a front-row seat to this disaster. But when he began a new chapter of his career in Cuba, he found something completely unexpected: hope.
After years and years of watching reefs deteriorate, Guggenheim was astonished to come face-to-face with Cuba's remarkably healthy coral reefs overflowing with fish and other marine life. The Remarkable Reefs of Cuba reveals the hidden potential that Cuba’s reefs may contain for the reefs of the world.
While the past 60 years have seen the worst decline in ocean health in human history, Cuba’s oceans and coral reefs remain remarkably healthy, a living laboratory never-before-seen by this generation of scientists. Which begs the question: why are Cuba’s ocean waters so healthy? The answer is deeply intertwined with the country’s extraordinary and singularly unique history, from its dramatic political past to its world-class environmental protections influenced by an unlikely partner, Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
This buoyant book tells the story of the demise of the world’s ocean ecosystems, the hard work of those desperately trying to save it, and an unexpected beacon of hope from an island full of mystery and surprises.
"“Spanning decades of adventurous, sometimes exhausting, sometimes exhilarating, but always eye-opening experiences in science, politics, and ocean exploration, Guggenheim’s deeply personal journey into Cuba’s past and present lead him to see the inextricable links between humans and nature, and reasons for hope for an enduring future for both.” (Dr. Sylvia Earle, founder of Mission Blue and author of Ocean, A Global Odyssey)
“Cuba’s political difficulties had the silver lining of virtually untouched reefs. No one has spent more time diving those reefs than Guggenheim. They are a reminder of what God intended coral reefs to be, and of how badly coral reefs have been massacred by human pollution, overfishing, and climate change. These Cuban reefs offer a beacon of hope as well as a warning of danger, and The Remarkable Reefs of Cuba gives them voice.” (Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, founder and co-chair, Senate Oceans Caucus)"
Average rating from 7 members
Half the world's coral reefs have disappeared since 1970, devastating the global marine ecology. But thanks to an unusual set of circumstances, Cuba's coral reefs remain remarkably healthy, offering hope for the future. This engaging, easy-to-read book from an eminent marine scientist is part science, part history, and entirely fascinating.
Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC I received. This is my honest and voluntary review.
This is a very well documented text. There are no pictures. It is a dense book and perfect for research or someone serious about learning everything about the reefs of Cuba.
In my case he's preaching to the choir, but I learned a lot anyway. Conservation is needed and there are various NGOs that are doing their best to educate and motivate legislators and grass roots citizens to cease adding to the poisons sluicing their way down streams and rivers into the large bodies of water. It's more than the bleaching of coral off Australia and in the Mediterranean, it's the absolute dearth of coral off the coasts of Florida and Cuba. Cuba held off adding to the problem for a time, but the absolute need to feed the population under embargo came first. This is mostly a very readable book filled with Very Important People like Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his sons as well as Ballard and others well-known in underwater exploration. I absolutely loved it!
I requested and received an EARC from BookdGoSocial via NetGalley. Thank you!
This was a beautifully done science nonfiction book, it really helped to bring hope to the damages of the reefs. David E. Guggenheim does a great job in keeping it interesting and well researched.
I liked this book, it shows aspects of Cuba that are not well advertised, and the dynamics of scientific collaboration. It shows how the researchs about the oceans are important, with example cases like the disappearing of Diademas and their conection to fragile coral reefs, the deepwater horizon catastrophe and many others. All of this reinforce how the oceans are important in a global escale, and the little that is done to save them and save ourselves. The narrative style is really easy to understand for someone that is not a native english reader (like myself). I recommend this book for people that like to see aspects of academic research that are not seen in papers, and how the diplomatic relationships between countries (and cultural differences) influence it.
"Thank You Negalley and the publisher for this eARC"