Coral reefs Sint-Maarten threatened by new disease

A new disease has seriously affected the stony coral reefs off the coast of St Maarten. According to nature website Nature Today, 50 to 90 percent of the stony coral has already been damaged or died.


A new disease has seriously affected the stony coral reefs off the coast of St Maarten. According to nature website Nature Today , 50 to 90 percent of the stony coral has already been damaged or died.

Divers and swimmers must be careful not to spread the disease. The disease Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease was first seen off the coast of Florida in 2014. Since then, the disease has appeared in Mexico, Jamaica and the Virgin Islands.

Sint-Maarten is the first Dutch area in the Caribbean where the disease strikes, researchers from the Nature Foundation Sint Maarten have determined.

The coral disease appears to be caused by a bacterium. At least twenty coral species are susceptible to the disease, according to natural scientists.

Because the disease is spread through direct contact and water circulation, divers are urged to thoroughly clean their equipment after every dive at St Maarten. Swimmers must be careful not to touch coral. Plastic pollution increases the chance of infection, says the Caribbean Nature Foundation.

REF: https://www.nu.nl/wetenschap/5790039/koraalriffen-sint-maarten-bedreigd-door-nieuwe-ziekte.html