The Cuba Journal recently spoke with attorney Michael Moore about Cuba, maritime law and life in general. He is a fixture in the world of super yachts and a trusted contributor to a wide variety of organizations connected to the health of the world’s oceans. One gets the sense that Michael’s life can be aptly described as a “water world.”
Most recently, Michael made news by helping his client, Paul Madden Associates, obtain the first commercial license ever issued under new rules that allow US commercial vessels to travel between the US and Cuba. The historic journey is underway at the time of this writing.
With a successful 40-year career as a leading maritime attorney under his belt, one would think he would be ready to adopt a narrower gauge of reality. Not with Michael. Instead, he passionately champions an environmental cause with planetary implications.
As Chairman of the International Seakeepers Society (ISS), a position he has held since 2008, Michael orchestrates a global effort to promote oceanographic research, conservation and education through direct involvement with the global yachting community. Under normal circumstances, such a sweeping claim could be chalked up to bravado, but with Michael, protecting the world’s oceans carries the weight of some serious hardware – a collection of some of the largest private yachts in the world whose owners are members of the ISS.
As he explains, the fantastic wealth created by this elite group has occurred, in many cases, over the last 20 years and has led to a boom in yacht ownership. This community of people, all among the world’s one percent, has the resources to travel the world by sea and observe oceanic degradation firsthand.
Imbued with the spirit to heal our oceans, these yacht owners, and those associated with them, are in a unique position to contribute by doing what they love – being at sea and aiding research in the process. In essence, this is the idea behind ISS – putting together yacht owners and scientists.
Between his law practice and ISS responsibilities, Michael explains that Cuban matters are a daily topic of discussion. Intrepid business clients are positioning for early mover status in the region; and the maritime world is gearing up to navigate Cuba’s pristine 3,000 miles of coastline – not to mention the commercial opportunities for trade. While the lawyers of Moore & Co. will do their best to assist these bold business persons on the commercial side, the ISS also hopes to play a role in protecting the beautiful, unsullied splendor of the sea around her.
Photo credit: Volker Schlotmann