Coral Disease Outbreak – St. Eustatius

Google Earth image showing the location of dive sites known to have SCTLD in the Northern Reserve of the St. Eustatius National Park.

On August 13, 2019, Marine Park Rangers from the St. Eustatius National Park Foundation (STENAPA) discovered signs of stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) on patch reefs in the Northern Reserve. Together with a researcher from the Caribbean Netherlands Science Institute (CNSI) they started monitoring the Inner Jenkins patch with roving diver surveys and by repeated photography of tagged corals at 1-2 week intervals (weather permitting). The species that seem to be most seriously affected include Montastraea cavernosa, Pseudodiploria strigosa, Colpophyllia natans, Diploria labyrinthiformis and Agaricia agaricites. Treatment to help contain the spread of the disease to other areas around the island was initiated on October 10th at the Aquarium site with amoxicillan in Ocean Alchemist’s CoreRx 2B formulation.

Progression of SCTLD in Diploria labyrinthiformis #4 between Sept. 10, 2019 (left) and Sept. 17, 2019 (right) at 5-6 m, Inner Jenkins patch reef, St. Eustatius National Park. Photo Credit: © Marit Pistor STENAPA.

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