The National Geographic Young Explorers recently ventured on an excursion to explore Cuba’s Coral Reef systems. With cameras mounted on her submersible, Erkia Bergman set out on her journey and captured some amazing imagery along the way. The particular reef that she explored was noted being 50 miles south of mainland Cuba called Los Jardines de la Reina, which interpreted reads “Gardens of the Queen.”
Cuba’s Coral Reef systems are noted to be full of sharks, goliath grouper, and many other fish and organisms. Having explored this reef previously she encountered a native visitor, an American Crocodile that she has named El Nino. The crocodile was noted as curiously exploring her vessel using his teeth to nudge the explorer. The imagery captured was remarkable to say the least.
However, this trip to the Los Jardines de la Reina would have not been possible twenty years ago. Unfortunately this particular reef was traumatized by overfishing, which affects many other coral reef systems worldwide. A concealed effort formed an 850 square mile marine park which led to the recovery of this beautiful reef system.
Photo credit: Erika Bergman