U.S. and Cuba sign agreement protecting waterways

Posted at 10:11 AM, Nov 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-20 10:11:00-05

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The United States and Cuba have agreed to an historic environmental pact that will help protect the fish and corals we share. The agreement was signed yesterday in Havana and will allow researchers to work together to protect marine life.

"It is a win, win, win all the way around, said Dr. Michael Crosby, President and CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory, "it's a win for each country more importantly it's a win for our oceans."

Both countries are officially joining forces to protect our water and the sea life that lives in it.

It's nothing new for scientists from Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota, who have been working closely with scientists from Cuba for the last 10 years.

"It helps to bring all of those years of experience together and helps to facilitate even greater partnership," said Dr. Crosby, "to help conserve our shared resources between the two countries."

Only 90 miles separates the state of Florida from Cuba, and many people we talked with at Lido Beach feel that this agreement is a positive move.

"It's the right thing to do," said Carmen Cruz, visiting from Jacksonville, "it's a good start for the relationship and protecting the environment especially the waterways and oceans is the best thing we can do."

"As long as it's fair across the board, it's good," said Tom Morrissey, a Sarasota resident.

Scientists from Mote will continue to collaborate with our Cuban friends on everything from marine microbiology to marine coral ecology, both countries are now on the cutting edge of shark research as well.

"We've worked together to really push the frontiers of science," said Dr. Crosby, "a better understanding of shark behavior, a better understanding sharks down there that we've been able to track."