"US-Cuba Sea Mission Finds Healthy Reefs, Invasive Lionfish"

"HAVANA — A joint U.S.-Cuban expedition to explore the island's coral reefs uncovered a surprisingly healthy ecosystem and large schools of mackerel with significant commercial value, scientists involved in the mission said Tuesday.

The study also found alarmingly high numbers of invasive lionfish, which is not native to the Western Hemisphere and has become a growing marine menace in recent years.

'We found an incredible amount of diversity, especially in algae and sponges, and the reefs were in incredible health as well,' said Patricia Gonzalez of the Marine Investigations Center at the University of Havana. 'Some of the most fascinating results have to do with widespread coral coverage, in some cases up to 70 and 80 percent ... and some species we believe are new.'"

Andrea Rodriguez reports for the Associated Press July 4, 2017.

Source: AP, 07/05/2017