Saturday, July 20, 2024

Help Needed to Fight Caribbean Coral Disease


Bonaire is reaching out to divers to help combat an outbreak of the highly contagious and destructive Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD).

The disease, which was first identified in Florida in 2014, has spread to almost the entire Caribbean. While its causes are still misunderstood, it is hypothesized that the culprit is a bacterial pathogen.

Now that the disease has reached Bonaire, Stichting Nationale Parken Bonaire (STINAPA) requests visitors and locals help prevent it from spreading as much as possible. The steps STINPA recommends are as follows:

    • Limit your diving activity to one location per day. This helps reduce the spread of the disease.
    • Avoid diving in any of the red and orange areas of infection.
    • If you notice any infections, report it immediately to AGRRA.
    • Decontaminate all your dive gear before your first dive in Bonaire and at the end of every diving day to avoid spreading the infection.

You can report any sightings of the disease here, find a map of the infected areas here and check out a video on decontaminating your dive gear below.

Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life! Sam is a Staff Writer for