Joining Forces to Mitigate
Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD)
Our work with SCTLD never stops. We continued our monthly monitoring of 21 sites around the island. These efforts have yielded data that help us understand and keep track of how the disease progresses across our coral reefs. On the South and West of the island, the disease has progressed rapidly and is now in what we call the “epidemic” phase, where we have lost many highly susceptible species like the pillar and maze corals. North of the island is in its first stages of the disease, what we call the “invasion” phase. In these sites we can still see some pillar and maze corals fighting the disease. But there’s also some good news, we are happy to report that some colonies of brain corals are completely healthy in places where the SCTLD has been reported and could be resilient to the disease. SCTLD was reported in May on the East side of the island and it is still in the invasion phase. Although this is not great news for the island, we encourage everyone to keep working together and to follow all the gear disinfection guidelines. We continue to treat corals with base2B (oinment) and amoxicillin mix, we have successfully tagged 924 corals and done 3 months of reassessment on these colonies. This data will help us understand how the corals in the different sites along the island of Roatan are responding to the treatment and what would be the best way to control the disease. Our plan for the next couple of months is to continue monitoring, reassessing corals, and work on the next phase of our project, which is to expand and diversify our coral restoration efforts. Keep an eye out for our social media and monthly webinars where we inform the dive shops and general public on how the corals are doing and what we can do to help them fight this terrible disease.
A special thanks to Antonio Busiello, for the photographs.