MV Oceans for Youth in the Puerto Padre Bay

From the times of corsairs and pirates, caravels and galleons to modern navigation mechanisms, for any seafarer, the most difficult task lies in keeping calm when the storm of emotions breaks out when the port where it all began is in sight. In the Bay of Puerto Padre, Fabián Pina Amargós, manager of the sail round to Cuba expedition, glimpses unparalleled passions, in a place with homey smells.

Puerto Padre, Las Tunas.- The marine biologist, together with the rest of the crew of the MV Oceans for Youth, retrace the coastal limits of the country to learn about the health of life below the aquatic mantle. Faith and dedication anchored the scientific dream to reality.

“The initiative arose during COVID-19, intending to write a book on coral reefs. In an initial chapter, with information collected over 30 years, we realized the various gaps that exist in some areas, especially in the north and south of the East. The same thing happened in the section on sharks. Once the idea was materialized, in complicity with other researchers and the operator of the ship, Puerto Padre and its natural conditions could not be left out, given an experimental need.”

At present, the problems float before the gaze of a society concerned about technological development, while the environment cries out for better treatment. The boat, with the analysis of the specialists, tows the evil behavior of man to the surface.

Members of the sail round to Cuba scientific expedition.
Fabián, first from left to right.

“We have to work much more, what we are doing is like a photo of the state of the reef and the sharks; however, to draw much more robust conclusions it is necessary to expand the studies, we are really obtaining preliminary data. Even so, it is evident that there is overfishing since large, commercial species are scarce, while smaller ones are abundant. The conclusions of the reefs carry more details, for which reason the information must be better processed. In a general sense, taking into account what was previously known, there is a deterioration in terms of fish, therefore, the authorities and the population must keep this in mind and choose to take sides.”

Regrets dot the face of Pina Amargós after commenting on recent experiences in the Puerto Padre shoreline. “In these days, we have witnessed the placement of nets, illegally, to capture chelonians, that is, turtles. These animals are protected, but the shells on the seabed speak of frequent hunting. An unfortunate situation, without a doubt."

In a blue city, where the winds of the theory of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in this region blow, Fabián and the sail round expedition intertwine stories in a meeting of knowledge.

Aerial view of the Puerto Padre coastline