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Enrique Pujibet Bobea

Dominican Republic

Dr. Enrique Pujibet Bobea
University of Santo Domingo

When the earth was being formed and all its matter was changing, the sea encompassed everything. Nowadays, the sea accounts for 71% of the planet's surface, approximatey two-thirds of it. The Pacific occupies over half this area, the Atlantic a quarter and the Indian Ocean a sixth. Taken together, seas and oceans cover the entire planet, like a vast, unending sheet of water. The Caribbean Sea is an integral part of this enormous system.

The vast ocean world is not uninhabited. It constitutes a vital sphere under whose surface lie an almost infinite variety of life forms, a universe within a universe, a three-dimensional, blue and black world, dense and mysterious, with its laws, inhabitants and dramas; unlimited, undefined and fluctuating. The vastness of the ocean, from its coasts to great depths, is home to flora and fauna so varied that land varieties are extremely poor in comparison. Ocean organisms are represented by thousands of plant and animal species, which in turn contain billions of individuals.

In addition to the many forms of life found in the waters, the sea is involved in almost every aspect of our lives. For our ancestors, everything came from the ocean. Throughout the history of mankind, seas have been present as the center and origin of everything that is mysterious and as a challenge to the thirst for knowledge and conquest. Oceans are a hidden scenario with no limits for human activities. The first activity was shell and shellfish collecting on the beach, followed by fishing and later navigation and the trade routes of galleons and great discoveries; oceans were also the setting for independence wars and naval battles.

Unfortunately, many of the marine biological resources in the Caribbean are in crisis. Most resources are being heavily exploited. On the other hand a large portion of the population in the region lives in coastal communities and is heavily reliant on marine biological resources, which are a source of employment and food. This is compounded by the high demand for goods and services for consumption by the tourism industry, one of the main economies in many countries in the Caribbean region. This decrease in coastal resources has increased the dependence and pressure on marine resources, which are completely depleted or overexploited. Biological resources such as coral reefs, although not directly exploited, are also severely degraded by human activity and require urgent attention for their restoration. These are crucial to tourism and act as a coastal defense against rising sea levels.

The biological resources of the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem are often shared by the countries in the region. The management and sustainable use of marine ecosystems will simultaneously face problems of pollution and the overexploitation of resources. Preserving these threatened ecosystems will require an international, holistic approach for their planning and management. This implies that both ecosystem management and the recovery of overfished stocks will require cooperation at various geopolitical levels. Although the potential the Caribbean Sea affords man is enormous, it is not unlimited and therefore, natural resources will only be available indefinitely if they are exploited in a rational, sustainable manner.

Enrique Ernesto Pugibet Bobea Got his Master in Sciences, (MSc). 1989, Mississippi State University, Mississippi, USA Fish and Wild Life Department. Program Fisheries management and wild life ecology. Biology. 1985, Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, Biology Department, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

He is the Director of the Marine Biology Research Center. University of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He had also directed the National Aquarium of Dominican Republic.as Director, as well as in AecomarSRL. Fisheries manager and marine ecologist. Dominican Republic. Marine Biology Research Center. University of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. 1990 - Present. Professor. National Aquarium. 1989 - 1990. Marine exhibitions developer. Dominican Republic. Mississippi State University, United States. 1987-1989. Project Noxubee River, Noxubee Wild Life Refuge, Mississippi, U.S.A. Fishery Resources Department. Agriculture Secretariat. 1986 - 1987. Fisheries Division. Dominican Republic. National Program of Agro-aquaculture, Agriculture Secretariat. 1984 - 1986. Inland Waters Division. Dominican Republic.Marine Biology Research Center. 1979 - 1989. Research Assistant. Dominican Republic. Marine Biology Research Center. 1978 - 1979. Laboratory Assistant. Dominican Republic.

Professional goals: Research in fishery and ecology (marine and freshwater); study, managing and administration of the natural resources, with emphasis in fishing resources and marine biology and the conservation and rational use of the natural resources.