Cape Eleuthera Institute
GCFI Poster spreading the word on SCTLD.pdf (3.78 MB)

GCFI Poster spreading the word on Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease

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posted on 2024-02-27, 19:11 authored by Natalia HurtadoNatalia Hurtado, Silia Woodside

After experiencing the coronavirus pandemic, we all learned how a disease can spread and completely change our daily life. At the same time, awareness was raised worldwide to prioritize our health and safety. However, human beings are not the only ones exposed to diseases, they can also affect animals and in a matter of years can devastate entire populations. As coral reefs around the world suffer from the worsening effects of climate change, corals in the Bahamas face yet another threat. Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) is a new disease that is quickly infecting and killing stony corals. SCTLD is highly lethal and progresses rapidly, spreading through basic water circulation. While the exact cause of the disease is still unknown, researchers believe it to be caused by bacteria that can be easily transmitted through the water column. The disease was first reported in Miami in 2014 and it is presumed that commercial ships coming from Florida introduced SCTLD to Bahamian waters. While this disease cannot harm humans, it is deadly for coral reefs, and it is on local communities to help stop the spread. Snorkelers, fisherman and divers can easily spot the disease and report to The Perry Institute which is actively applying treatments to stop the disease. Infographics and educational materials about how to identify, report and stop the spread of the disease were created, since sharing the information and spreading awareness could help to protect reefs while disinfecting gear exposed and sharing observations.


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