STONY CORAL TISSUE LOSS DISEASE

Since it was first reported in Florida in 2014, Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD), has now spread throughout the Wider Caribbean Region with cases in Jamaica, Mexico, Sint Maarten, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Belize, Sint Eustatius, Puerto Rico, The Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia and Honduras.

SCTLD spreads rapidly and affects some of the slowest-growing and longest-lived reef-building corals, including the brain, star and pillar corals. Scientists are uncertain about the cause of the disease but it is water-borne and can be spread by contact. As the disease continues to spread throughout the Caribbean MPAConnect, a partnership between GCFI and NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program, has developed resource materials that will help with the identification, monitoring and treatment of the disease, which may be found below.

SCTLD spreads rapidly and affects some of the slowest-growing and longest-lived reef-building corals, including the brain, star and pillar corals (Table 1).

High Susceptibility Intermediate Susceptibility Presumed Susceptibility Low/No Susceptibility
Colpophyllia natans (Boulder brain coral) Orbicella annularis (Lobed star coral) Madracis auretenra (Pencil coral) Porites astreoides (Mustard hill coral)
Dendrogrya cylindrus (Pillar Coral) Orbicella faveolata (Mountainous star coral) Favia fragum (Golfball coral) Porites porites (Finger coral)
Dichocoenia stokesii (Elliptical star coral) Orbicella franksi (Boulder star coral) Isophyllia sinuosa (Sinuous cactus coral) Porites divaricata (Thin finger coral)
Diploria labyrinthiformis (Grooved brain coral) Montastraea cavernosa (Large-cup star coral)   Porites furcata (Branched finger coral)
Eusmilia fastigiata (Smooth flower coral) Solenastrea bournoni (Smooth star coral)   Acropora palmata (Elkhorn coral)
Meandrina meandrites (Maze coral) Stephanocoenia intersepta (Blushing star coral)   Acropora cervicornis (Staghorn coral)
Pseudodiploria strigosa (Symmetrical brain coral) Madracis decactis (Ten-ray star coral)   Oculina spp. (Bush corals)
Pseudodiploria clivosa (Knobby brain coral) Agaricia agaricites (Lettuce coral)*   Cladocora arbuscula (Tube coral)
Meandrina jacksoni (Whitevalley maze coral) Agaricia spp. (Plate / saucer corals)   Scolymia spp. (Disc corals)
Siderastrea siderea (Massive starlet coral)* Mycetophyllia lamarckiana (Ridged cactus coral)   Isophyllia rigida (Rough star coral)
Agaricia agaricites (Lettuce coral)* Mussa angulosa (Spiny flower coral)    

*=sometimes high susceptibility

Adapted from Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment Program, 2020 and J. Lang (pers. comm.)

Scientists are uncertain about the cause of the disease but it is water-borne and can be spread by contact. As the disease continues to spread throughout the Caribbean MPAConnect, a partnership between GCFI and NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program, has developed resource materials that will help with the identification, monitoring and treatment of the disease, which may be found below.

Posters

MPAConnect has designed posters designed to increase awareness about SCTLD amongst natural resource managers and divers. Copies of the posters may be found below in English, Spanish and French.

DETECTION

This poster seeks to help Caribbean marine natural resource managers monitor, identify and mitigate against SCTLD.

Print

English Spanish

French

Digital

English

Spanish

French

DIVER AWARENESS

Recreational divers may regularly dive the same reefs and explore areas that may otherwise not be monitored on a regular basis. This poster was designed to raise awareness amongst divers so they could identify possible cases of SCTLD and report it to the relevant authorities.

Print

English Spanish

French

Digital

English

Spanish

French

PREVENTION

Since the disease can be spread through contact this provides divers with
information on how to reduce the likelihood of transmission.

Print

English Spanish

French

Digital

English

Spanish

French

 

Webinars

MONITORING REEFS FOR STONY CORAL TISSUE LOSS DISEASE

Date: January 26, 2021

Time: 10AM – 12:30PM (EST)

Description: Presenters in this webinar will provide training on how to monitor for SCTLD, input and analyse the data.  Real world experiences will also be shared by some of our partners from the Turks and Caicos Islands, Florida and the Grenadines.

Meeting link: gcfi.adobeconnect.com/mpaconnect.

STONY CORAL TISSUE LOSS DISEASE WEBINAR

A webinar on Identifying Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease was hosted on September 15, 2020

You can access a recording of this webinar along with the slides of the presentations by Judith Lang and Andy Bruckner

 

 

 

 

Documents

SCTLD template monitoring & response action plan for Caribbean marine natural resource managers

In August 2019, MPAConnect’s 8th Peer To Peer Exchange provided natural resource managers from 17 countries/ territories in the Wider Caribbean Region with capacity building support to monitor and treat stony coral tissue loss disease.  For more information on the learning exchange, and the resource materials provided, please click here.

Press Releases

November 2020: NOAA Launches New Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease Strategy  at 73rd Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

May 2020: MPAConnect and AGRRA Launch Caribbean Coral Disease Dashboard

October 2019: Alerting Divers to the Threat of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease

August 2019: Sharing Knowledge to Tackle Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease

May 2019: Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease Poster Goes Multi-Lingual (English) | Spanish | French