A review of marine mammal records of Cuba


  • Amy Danae Whitt Geo-Marine, Inc.
  • Thomas A. Jefferson Clymene Enterprises
  • Miriam Blanco Acuario Nacional de Cuba
  • Dagmar Fertl
  • Deanna Rees Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic Division




Strandings, Sightings, By-catch, Distribution


There has been very little research on marine mammals in Cuban waters. Much of the information on marine mammals in this region is buried in historical and gray literature. In order to provide a comprehensive account of marine mammal occurrence in Cuba’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), we reviewed and verified 659 published and unpublished sighting, stranding, capture, and tagging records. Eighteen extant species and four genera have confirmed records for Cuban EEZ waters. This includes 17 species of cetaceans (three baleen whales and 14 toothed whales) and one sirenian species. An additional 11 cetacean species and one extant pinniped species have been reported, but not confirmed, or may have the potential to occur in Cuban waters. Historical records of the Caribbean monk seal (Monachus tropicalis) are documented in Cuba; however, this species is now considered extinct. The only two species that are seen regularly and considered common in Cuban nearshore waters are the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus).

Author Biography

Amy Danae Whitt, Geo-Marine, Inc.

Protected Species Lead, Marine Sciences Department


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How to Cite

Whitt, A. D., Jefferson, T. A., Blanco, M., Fertl, D., & Rees, D. (2014). A review of marine mammal records of Cuba. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals, 9(2), 65-122. https://doi.org/10.5597/lajam00175