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Black Coral Inc. Travels To Bonaire To Learn About Reef Renewal Efforts!

Bonaire, island and special municipality within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in the westernmost group of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. It lies 50 miles (80 km) north of the Venezuelan coast and 20 miles (32 km) east of Curaçao. Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire (RRFB) has recently adjusts their 10 year restoration strategy to build coral resilience to Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) and other threats to Bonaire’s reefs. Bonaire is the "B" in the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) which are all Dutch-owned.

Black Coral Inc contacted professional divers and educators trained by RRFB in order to establish a land-based facility to bolster their own efforts at coral larval propagation , a vital step towards ensuring the genetic diversity and overall resiliency of coral reefs in many places around the globe. Black Coral Inc Secretary Michael R Thierry attended classes with members of the Atlanta Underwater Explorers (AUE), an independent SCUBA diving club based in the city of Atlanta, Georgia. Who are affiliated with the National Association of Black SCUBA divers (NABS). AUE is one of the United States premiere diving clubs and offers access to master Divers with a wealth of experience and knowledge that just isn't found everywhere.

Black Coral Reef Renewal Foundation is intensifying its commitment to building reef resilience in response to the rapid spread of diseases, such as Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD), and increasingly adverse environmental conditions caused by climate change and has several International projects planned for 2024 to address these issues. Many countries and islands in the Caribbean have been fighting a disease called Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) for almost a decade. It was first reported off the coast of Florida in 2014. Since then, it has spread to 22 different countries and territories in the Caribbean. Recently, it was detected on Bonaire’s reefs. SCTLD is a novel white plague-type coral disease that is highly lethal and fast-spreading. For a long time, the southern Caribbean was one of the last places in the region where SCTLD had not been detected, but with the recent outbreak in Bonaire this year and the detection in Trinidad and Tobago in 2022, it seems the disease has now spread throughout the entire region. This disease spreads rapidly and causes tissue loss in corals causing them to die. It affects >20 coral species in the Caribbean.

In Bonaire, it has been found on 9 coral species, the most common being: Flower coral (Eusmilia fastigiata), Grooved Brain Coral (Diplorialabyrinthiformis), Great Star Coral (Montastrea cavernosa) Knobby Brain Coral (Pseudodiploria clivosa), Boulder Brain Coral (Colpophylia natans), and Maze Coral (Meandrina meandrites). The disease’s persistence in affected areas and continued spread represent one of the most important threats currently facing our reefs.

Your help is vital to monitor and contain its spread. We will periodically be posting stories about our progress to keep our donors and supporters in the loop about our progress fighting this threat to our coral reefs and fish populations.


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