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.
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.
This poster seeks to help Caribbean marine natural resource managers monitor, identify and mitigate against SCTLD.
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.
Since the disease can be spread through contact this provides divers with
information on how to reduce the likelihood of transmission.
A webinar on Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease was hosted on January 26th, 2021
You can access a recording of this webinar along with the slides of the presentations by:
A webinar on Identifying Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease was hosted on September 15, 2020
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.
How to Document Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease
Since 2014 Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease has been affecting reefs in the Wider Caribbean Region. In order to effectively treat the disease it must first be positively identified. This video explains how to document suspicious coral lesions, through the use of videos and photos, and how they can help with disease identification and monitoring.
How To Treat Corals Affected by Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease
Currently the only effective method being used to treat Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease is the topical application of antibiotics, specifically amoxicillin, using a specially developed pharmaceutical paste called Base2B. This video will demonstrate how to apply the Base2B/amoxicillin mixture to corals that have been affected by the disease. Click here to see this video.
How Divers Can Help to Prevent Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease
How Fishers Can Help to Prevent Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease
Since 2014 Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease has affected 17 countries and territories throughout the Wider Caribbean Region. This video will provide information on how fishers can help identify and prevent the spread of disease throughout the region. Click here to see this video.