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HAVANA (Reuters) - A team of U.S. scientists and environmentalists met with Cuban officials this week to discuss a proposed alliance, including Mexico, to protect the Gulf of Mexico's declining shark population.

The meetings were a product of both improved U.S.-Cuba relations and concern that only a joint effort by the three nations that share the gulf can protect sharks, whose numbers are said to be down as much as 50 percent for some species.

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