Bay of Pigs

The Bay of Pigs (Spanish: Bahía de los Cochinos) is an inlet of the Gulf of Cazones located on the southern coast of Cuba. By 1910, it was included in Santa Clara Province, and then instead to Las Villas Province by 1961, but in 1976, it was reassigned to Matanzas Province, when the original six provinces of Cuba were re-organized into 14 new Provinces of Cuba.

Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs from Cueva de los Peces
Bay of Pigs
Location of the Bay of Pigs in Cuba
Geographical location of the Bay of Pigs
LocationMatanzas,
Cuba
Coordinates22°13′N 81°10′W
TypeBay
Native nameBahía de los Cochinos  (Spanish)
EtymologyCochino meaning both "pig" and "triggerfish"
Part ofGulf of Cazones
Ocean/sea sourcesCaribbean Sea
Max. lengthmax. 27 km (17 mi)
Max. widthmax. 10 km (6.2 mi)
Surface area200 km2 (77 sq mi)
Shore length187 km (54 mi)
Max. temperature29 °C (84 °F)
Min. temperature22 °C (72 °F)
FrozenNever
IslandsCayo Piedra
SettlementsPlaya Girón, Playa Larga
References[1][2]
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

The bay is historically important for the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961. The area is a site known for its diving, with an abundance of marine fauna, e.g. 30 species of sponges belonging to 19 families and 21 genera,[3] to be found in the bay.[4]

Etymology

In Cuban Spanish, cochinos may also mean the queen triggerfish (Balistes vetula), which inhabit coral reefs in Bahía de Cochinos, not swine (Sus scrofa).[5][6]

Geography

Sunset in Playa Girón

This bay is approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Jagüey Grande, 70 kilometres (43 mi) west of the city of Cienfuegos, and 150 kilometres (93 mi) southeast from the capital city Havana. On the western side of the bay, coral reefs border the main Zapata Swamp, part of the Zapata Peninsula. On the eastern side, beaches border margins of firm ground with mangroves and extensive areas of swampland to the north and east. At the north end of the bay, the village of Buena Ventura is adjacent to Playa Larga (Long Beach). 35 kilometres (22 mi) southeast of that, Playa Girón (Giron Beach) at the village of Girón, named after the notorious French pirate Gilberto Giron (c. 1604).[7]

History

Bay of Pigs, 1961

Playa Girón and Playa Larga were the landing sites for seaborne forces of armed Cuban exiles in the Bay of Pigs Invasion, an American CIA-sponsored attempt to overthrow the new government of Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro in April 1961.

According to Fidel Castro's former bodyguard, the late Juan Reinaldo Sánchez, Castro lived in great luxury and had a private island called Cayo Piedra in the Bay of Pigs, replete with "mansions, guest houses, a heliport, dolphinarium, turtle lagoon, his luxury yacht Aquarama – a gift from Leonid Brezhnev – and deep-sea fishing speedboat".[8]

Diving

Monument honoring five Cuban political prisoners held captive in the United States

The Bay of Pigs is a relatively quiet site for diving. Dive centers exist in Playa Larga, Playa Girón and Caleta Buena. Twelve dive sites in the bay display excellent visibility of 20 to 40 metres (66 to 131 ft), an average water temperature of 22 °C (72 °F) in December and 29 °C (84 °F) in July. Walls of coral, caverns and a variety of fish (including the barracuda, lionfish and groupers, among others), coral and sponges can be found in the Bay of Pigs.[4]

The Cueva de los Peces, with 72 metres (236 ft) depth the deepest cenote of Cuba, is located at 18 kilometres (11 mi) south of Playa Larga.[9]

Biodiversity

Surrounding the Bay of Pigs, the endemic wormlizards Amphisbaena barbouri and A. cubana have been noted.[10] The following marine species have been registered along the eastern coast of the Bay of Pigs:

GroupCommon nameScientific nameImageNotes
Fishblue chromisChromis cyanea
blue tangAcanthurus coeruleus
bluehead wrasseThalassoma bifasciatum
striped parrotfishScarus iserti
beau gregoryStegastes leucostictus
bicolor damselfishStegastes partitus
bogaInermia vittata
Colon gobyCoryphopterus dicrus
creole wrasseClepticus parrae
longfin damselfishStegastes diencaeus
masked gobyCoryphopterus personatus
threespot damselfishStegastes planifrons
yellowhead wrasseHalichoeres garnoti
French gruntHaemulon flavolineatum
ocean surgeonAcanthurus bahianus
sergeant majorAbudefduf saxatilis
slippery dickHalichoeres bivittatus
yellowtail snapperOcyurus chrysurus
bar jackCaranx ruber
barred hamletHypoplectrus puella
brown chromisChromis multilineata
foureye butterflyfishChaetodon capistratus
graysbyEpinephelus cruentatus
longjaw squirrelfishHolocentrus marianus
redband parrotfishSparisoma aurofrenatum
royal grammaGramma loreto
stoplight parrotfishSparisoma viride
tomtate gruntHaemulon aurolineatum
white gruntHaemulon plumierii
porgiesCalamus sp.
banded butterflyfishChaetodon striatus
buffalo trunkfishLactophrys trigonus
flat needlefishAblennes hians
glasseyeHeteropriacanthus cruentatus
longspine squirrelfishHolocentrus rufus
plate fishBothus lunatus
red lionfish (invasive)Pterois volitans
spotfin butterflyfishChaetodon ocellatus
trumpetfishAulostomus maculatus
Spongesazure vase spongeCallyspongia plicifera
yellow tube spongeAplysina fistularis
green finger spongeIotrochota birotulata
orange icing spongeMycale laevis
pink vase spongeNiphates digitalis
row pore rope spongeAplysina cauliformis
touch-me-not spongeNeofibularia nolitangere
demospongesCliona sp.
Cliona aprica
Cliona delitrix
Cliona varians
Aiolochroia crassa
Ectyoplasia ferox
Ircinia felix
Mycale laxissima
Plakortis angulospiculatus
Scopalina ruetzleri
Smenospongia aurea
Spirastrella coccinea
Coralsboulder brain coralColpophyllia natans
Caribbean sea whipPlexaura homomalla
elkhorn coralAcropora palmata
great star coralMontastraea cavernosa
maze coralMeandrina meandrites
purple sea fanGorgonia ventalina
sea gingerMillepora alcicornis
CrustaceansCaribbean spiny lobsterPanulirus argus
Echinodermsdonkey dung sea cucumberHolothuria mexicana
Mollusksqueen conchLobatus gigas

See also

  • Geography of Cuba

References

Citations

  1. "Area Calculator Using Maps". www.freemaptools.com.
  2. "Measure Distance on a Map". www.freemaptools.com.
  3. Caballero et al., 2009, p.95
  4. "Diving in Playa Girón - Bahia de Cochinos". divescover.es.
  5. Claro, Rodolfo; García-Arteaga, Juan P.; Gobert, Bertrand; Cantelar Ramos, Karel (13 May 2003). "Tabla 2. Pesos y tallas mínimos legales en Cuba y proporción de peces con tallas inferiores en las capturas con chinchorros y nasas de la empresa pesquera de Caibarién" (PDF). Situación actual de los recursos pesqueros del Archipiélago Sabana-Camagüey, Cuba. Invemar. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  6. "Common Names List - Balistes vetula". Fishbase.org. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  7. Rodríguez Cruz, 1999, p.115
  8. "Cerca de 20 mansiones, tres yates y un helipuerto son algunas de las posesiones de Fidel Castro". La Información. June 16, 2014.
  9. "La Cueva de los Peces, el cenote más profundo y bello de Cuba 🇨🇺". CubaConecta. June 19, 2017.
  10. Rodríguez Schettino et al., 2013, pp.9–10
  11. Chevalier & Cárdenas, 2005, p.60
  12. Chevalier & Cárdenas, 2005, p.61
  13. "Banded Butterflyfish - Chaetodon striatus - Caribbean Fish Identification USVI". www.snorkelstj.com.
  14. "Trunkfish (Buffalofish) - Lactophrys trigonus - Caribbean Fish Identification USVI". www.snorkelstj.com.
  15. "Needlefish - Caribbean Fish Identification USVI". www.snorkelstj.com.
  16. "Glasseye Snapper - Heteropriacanthus cruentatus - Bigeyes - - Tropical Reefs". reefguide.org.
  17. "Longspine Squirrelfish - Holocentrus rufus - Squirrelfishes - - Tropical Reefs". reefguide.org.
  18. "Peacock Flounder - Bothus lunatus - Caribbean Fish Identification USVI". www.snorkelstj.com.
  19. "Indo-Pacific Lionfish - Pterois volitans - Caribbean Fish Identification USVI". www.snorkelstj.com.
  20. "Spotfin Butterflyfish - Chaetodon ocellatus - Butterflyfishes - - Tropical Reefs". reefguide.org.
  21. "Trumpetfish - Aulostomus maculatus - Bimini, Bahamas - Photo 3 - Tropical Reefs". reefguide.org.
  22. "Callyspongia plicifera".
  23. Caballero et al., 2009, p.101
  24. "Boulder Brain Coral - Colpophyllia natans - USVI Caribbean". www.snorkelstj.com.
  25. "Black Sea Rod - Plexaura homomalla - USVI Caribbean". www.snorkelstj.com.
  26. "Elkhorn Coral - Acropora palmata - USVI Caribbean". www.snorkelstj.com.
  27. "Great Star Coral - Montestrea cavernosa - USVI Caribbean". www.snorkelstj.com.
  28. "Maze Coral - Meandrina meandrites - Stony Corals - - Tropical Reefs". reefguide.org.
  29. "Common Sea Fan - Gorgonia ventalina - USVI Caribbean". www.snorkelstj.com.
  30. "Branching Fire Corals - Millepora alcicornis - USVI Caribbean". www.snorkelstj.com.
  31. "Caribbean Spiny Lobster - Panulirus argus - USVI Caribbean". www.snorkelstj.com.
  32. "Donkey Dung Sea Cucumber - Holothuria mexicana - Sea Cucumbers - - Caribbean Reefs". reefguide.org.
  33. "Conch - Strombus gigas - USVI Caribbean". www.snorkelstj.com.

Sources

Further reading

  • Wyden, Peter. 1979. Bay of Pigs – The Untold Story. Simon and Schuster. New York. ISBN 0-671-24006-4 ISBN 0224017543 ISBN 978-0-671-24006-6
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.