In 1996, the Cuban government created a 130-kilometer-long marine reserve at the Jardines de la Reina archipelago. Studies show that Jardines de la Reina contains one of the healthiest reef fish communities in the entire Caribbean, hosting abundant sharks and other large predatory fish such as Nassau grouper. Several years after protection, total fish biomass was more than 3 times higher inside the reserve than outside. Sharks, large groupers and snappers, and other top predators had the biggest increases in abundance and body size. These species are some of the most important targets for fisheries in the region. Their biomass was 10 times greater inside the reserve than in non-reserve areas.
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