Mote researchers in Cuba featured on Shark Week

The waters off Cuba have vastly remained a mystery.

Now as diplomatic bonds begin to grow, a group of scientists from Mote Marine Laboratory got the chance to research there for a week.

"For my whole career of more than 40 years I've sort of had to treat Cuba as if it didn't exist," said Dr. Bob Hueter.

Senior scientist at Mote, Doctor Bob Hueter, has spent a decade researching in Cuba, but this time was different. It was the first Cuban-American shark expedition.

They even had a film crew from Discovery to document their work.

Once researchers hit the water, they said they found a very healthy coral reef system. "They kind of remind me of when I learned to scuba dive in the 1970s, the way The Keys looked 45 years ago," said Dr.Hueter.

That was an impressive sign.

"Healthy reefs means healthy sharks, healthy sharks means healthy reefs," he said.

The Cuban government also did a first, they gave the crew a go-ahead to place satellite tags on the sharks. They tagged at least five different types of sharks, one even rare.

"These instruments allow us to follow the sharks tagged in Cuba in this case and see where they go see where their critical habitats see if they come to the United States which we believe they do," said Dr.Hueter.

Scientists hope to prove that the water between the two countries doesn't divide the U.S and Cuba, but connects the two. By working together, they hope to protect our surrounding seas and those who call it home.

"It is so important that we work together. We are so close. We share the same basic marine environment," said Dr.Hueter.

"The Sharks of Cuba" will air Tuesday night on Discovery as part of Shark Week.