An Ocean Pandemic:
Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease
While COVID-19 has captured the world’s attention and turned everyday life on its head, an ocean pandemic has silently radiated across the Caribbean Sea. The virulent and fast-moving Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) has spread to more than 20 different countries since it was first identified in Florida in 2014, leaving a devastating trail of thousands of dead corals in its wake. Traveling at astonishing speeds, the disease has already infected and killed some of the world’s largest and oldest corals. Imagine once colorful coral reefs teeming with life crumbling into nothing but white, algae dominated graveyards in a matter of months. That’s what we’re up against.
But we haven’t lost hope.
Situated on the frontlines of the coral crisis, the Perry Institute for Marine Science is committed to stopping its spread across the Caribbean, especially in The Bahamas. We’re surveying the region for SCTLD – as well as other diseases – thanks to our wonderful partners like The Bahamas Protected Area Fund. As a member of The Bahamas SCTLD Task Force, we’re also training Government officials (Department of Marine Resources & Department of Environmental Protection and Planning), scuba divers and partner organizations to administer life-saving antibiotics onto infected reefs.
Whether you’re a diver, boater, fisher, tourist or ocean-lover, we invite you to become the change you wish to see in the world. Now more than ever, we need your help to save coral reefs. Please share the SCTLD resources below widely within your networks. Inform others how to help stop its spread and report sightings of this devastating disease to us below. Be sure to properly disinfect your gear and boats as you move between reefs. And if you have the means, consider donating to help us treat diseased corals before it’s too late.
STOP THE SPREAD of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease
HOW TO REPORT Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease
LEARN TO IDENTIFY Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease
Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease
Restoration in the Age of Disease
Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD)
CORAL DISEASE OUTBREAK
What can we do to stop the spread of SCTLD
and protect our reefs?
Reporting sightings of SCTLD in The Bahamas is crucial so we know where coral reefs need our help the most. Using the form on this page, you can submit up to four images of suspected SCTLD cases. Please provide the location of your sighting (a Google Maps URL or GPS coordinates), and share your contact information so we can follow-up with you if needed.
What Else Can You Do?
Limit how the disease is transported by humans by disinfecting bilge water and dive/snorkel gear between dive sites using a mild bleach solution of hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectant.
Commercial ships must properly exchange ballast water by to prevent spreading the disease.
Report new locations where corals are showing signs of the disease. If we catch it early on a reef, we can prevent its spread to other corals on the reef.
Join Our Coralition
Subscribe to our newsletter to catch our latest research missions, stories and job opportunities.