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Mission Blue

Gardens of the Queen Hope Spot Poster – Framed

Regular price $67.00
Museum-quality posters made on thick, matte paper in a stylish frame. A statement in any room, these puppies are printed in America, sweatshop free, on archival, acid-free paper.

Jardines de la Reina, or “Gardens of the Queen” as proclaimed by Christopher Columbus in 1494 to honour his patron the Queen Isabella I of Spain, is an archipelago chain stretching over more than 660 uninhabited coral reefs, sandy ‘cayos’ and mangrove islets. About 80km off the southern central coast of Cuba, the marine portion of 1995km2 is now classified as IUCN Category II Protected Area. Since 1996 as a marine conservation initiative supported by Fidel Castro (an avid scuba diver and fisherman) the Cuban Government declared an initial 950 km2 to be classified as a Zone Under Special Regime of Use and Protection (ZUSRUP). Access to the area is heavily restricted and commercial fishing is strictly prohibited in the area – only sustainable tourism and conservation activities are permitted. Whereas many islands in the Caribbean have suffered greatly at the hands of destructive and irresponsible tourism practices, pollution from unsustainable coastal development, and severe habitat degradation from overfishing, Gardens of the Queen is a diamond in the world of marine ecosystems that has thankfully been protected from all of this. All these conditions combine to provide home to rich marine biodiversity and biomass, a vast array of species and abundant populations reliant on the healthy coral reef, sea grass beds, coral sandy cays, mangrove and open ocean ecosystems including migrating seabirds, reptiles, mammals and fish. Thriving ecosystems support thriving fish populations, which in turn support local fishing communities and - attract ocean enthusiasts. This ‘Pearl of the Caribbean’, ‘Galapagos of the Caribbean’ is a ‘Hope Spot’ if there was ever one.

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