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Along Cuba’s Coast, the Last Best Coral Reef in the Caribbean Thrives

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This article by Fen Montagne appeared in Yale’s Environment 360. It is accompanied by an impressive photo gallery.

View the photo essay.

The enduring image of Cuba is of a country locked in a time warp, with 1950s American sedans cruising the streets, colonial-era buildings in disrepair, and six decades of strict state control over the economy and a U.S. embargo keeping development at bay.

This frozen-in-amber quality also applies to many of the marine ecosystems surrounding the Caribbean’s largest island, with tremendous benefits for Cuba’s aquatic life. While coral reef cover has declined by 50 percent throughout the Caribbean in recent decades, Cuba has managed to retain some of the most pristine and biodiverse coral reef environments on earth. A lack of coastal development, limited tourism, relatively small amounts of runoff flowing into the sea, tight controls on commercial fishing, and the establishment of extensive marine protected areas have…

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Lionfish hunter’s tips for successful spearing

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Dominican Republic’s protected areas spur tourism boom

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More than one million local and foreign tourists have visited Dominican Republic’s numerous protected areas this year—including Los Haitises, Mirador del Este, the Damajagua Waterfalls, the José Armando Bermúdez National Park—which the authorities say results from improved infrastructure and an ambitious plan to identify and promote them.

The Environment and Natural Resources Ministry said the figure is increasing, according to managers and tour operators with excursions to nature reserves such as Los Haitises, Mirador del Este, the 27 Falls of Damajagua and Jima in the José Armando Bermúdez National Park.

“Since 1997 to date the number of people using protected areas for recreation and relaxation has increased, and it’s a source of income through ecotourism activities and services,” said Daneris Santana, deputy minister for Protected Areas and Biodiversity.

Among the areas with the most reported visits, the official cited Los Haitises, Estero Hondo, Los Tres Ojos, Damajagua Falls and Jaragua…

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The Monday Morning Gallery – Season Greetings

Today will be our last post for the year as we all gear up for Christmas and of course plenty of fishing.  All of the team at would like to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We will be back in 2015 with plenty more fishing adventures.  Thought we would share with you a gallery summarising our fishing year for 2104.  Enjoy!

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Sofia Coppola’s Guide to Belize

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Even the most inveterate traveler needs to find a place to do absolutely nothing. For Sofia Coppola, that place is a tiny seaside village in Belize, where the most exciting adventure she’ll have all day is a bike ride to the gelato stand and back (and that’s just perfect). Hugh Garvey talks to the filmmaker about escaping it all for this article in Condé Nast Traveler.

Sofia Coppola understands the transformative power of a hotel better than most. The filmmaker and style icon grew up as a sort of real-life Eloise, traveling the world with her father, director cum hotelier Francis Ford Coppola, who over the years has built a small empire of luxury retreats. She set two of her movies in hotels, mining the serene dislocation of the Park Hyatt Tokyo in Lost in Translation and the languorous debauchery of Chateau Marmont in Somewhere. And when Coppola wants…

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Antigua: Caribbean News Service Interviews Lia Nicholson on Caribbean Environmental Issues

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Caribbean News Service interviews Lia Nicholson on her involvement in the Caribbean, her interests, and issues related to the environment in the Caribbean, particularly Antigua and Barbuda, where she is based. Here are a few excerpts; please see the full interview in the link below:

lea.MG_6141Lia Nicholson, is a Project Coordinator at the Environment Division, Antigua & Barbuda. She has always been interested in the environment, and started at an early age with outdoor adventures along the coasts of Antigua. After starting college in the biology track, Lia soon transitioned from research to an environmental policy major with a focus on applied studies. Environmental management is, after all, about managing people and behaviors. In 2012, Lia enrolled in a Masters programme at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, where she studied the effects of climate change, focusing on impacts to coastal zones, with a view to applying this…

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