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Cuba cracking down on illegal fishing

New law aimed at reversing declining fish populations, bolstering food security and protecting jobs.

Cuba’s government enacted sweeping reforms to its fishing laws aimed at increasing protection for some of the world’s most important and vibrant marine ecosystems, while also ensuring a future for its fishers.

The new law, the first national change in more than 20 years, represents a major shift in Cuba’s current fisheries policy, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) said.

Declining fish populations have remained a serious problem for Cuba, putting the country’s food security, thousands of jobs and healthy ecosystems at risk.

Many of Cuba’s most important commercial fish stocks, including several species of grouper and snapper, have declined in recent years.

The new law includes provisions to curtail illegal fishing, recover fish populations and protect small-scale fishers in coastal communities.

Its passage will also help ensure coordinated management of marine resources between Cuba and other countries in the region, including the United States, EDF said.

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