Deadly coral disease spreads across Northwest Point

| 28/04/2021 | 13 Comments
SCTLD infected reef (photo by DoE)

(CNS): The deadly Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD), which first appeared in Cayman less than one year ago on the north wall, has now progressed around Northwest Point to the west side of Grand Cayman. The Department of Environment has released an updated map documenting the current progression of the worrying coral threat that its team is working hard to contain.

Click to enlarge

The department has begun implementing a national response plan, and among a number of measures being taken divers are being recruited to apply a topical antibiotic to impacted corals in an effort to slow down the spread. However, there is still much for scientists to learn about this latest disease.

As the work continues, the DoE is reminding anyone diving or snorkeling anywhere in the Cayman Islands to disinfect their equipment. See the protocols from NOAA on the DoE website.

For more information, contact the Lead Coordinator of the SCTLD Response Project at

For urgent issues, please contact the SCTLD hotline at +1 (345) 926-0680.

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Category: Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (13)

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  1. Caymanians should be very concerned. says:

    Caymanians, this could devastate our dive tourism industry. Please take an interest in the national treasure that is our coral reef.

    And please rinse your bilge out with fresh water before you launch or come round to the west side.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Dump’s leachate.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What is the national response plan? Can we read it somewhere? CNS do you know if this is publicly available like it is in other countries?

  4. Anonymous says:

    What? All those waste of time suggestions from DOE didn’t work? Coral creams, closed diving areas and rinsing your gear with bleach water…give me a break…it’s the ocean and stuff swirls around!

    • Anonymous says:

      OMG I can’t believe we have the marine biologist who figured out how to fix the devastation we’ve caused the oceans! Don’t do anything they say. What a friggin concept. I can’t believe we didn’t think of it before. We’re gonna be on the news worldwide now that we have saved the ocean with this aquatic scholar on our island. #blessed

      • Anonymous says:

        I really dont understand this comment…Have you researched what every other country is doing to combat SCTLD? If you dont have any real knowledge about Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease then why comment at all?

        • Anonymous says:

          Do you comprehend sarcasm or should I type it LiKe ThIs sO yOu UnDeRsTaNd?

        • Anonymous says:

          Who will brush the Parrot Fish’s teeth between meals? No need to be a scholar, just need common sense.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is your suggestion for this situation? The Cayman Islands is currently leading the world in the response to this disease. The disease is poorly understood and they are doing everything they can to stop it. Yes, it is a dire situation, but we are learning everything we can from the situation in Grand Cayman so we can apply these solutions to the sister isles and other countries. Hopefully by then there will be a little more hope.

      • Anonymous says:

        Doing everything they can?? Not sure about this. SCTLD was discovered in June 2020.
        Why did it take until April 2021 for a notice to go out to rinse dive gear before going to the Sister Islands?? People were traveling to the sister islands for 8 months before that!
        Are boat owners even aware that they should disinfect their bilge?
        Does the average person on island even know what SCTLD looks like?

        • Anonymous says:

          Because for the first several months the area where the SCTLD was found was closed to diving. SO no need to disinfect if there was no chance of transferring the disease. Now that its spread further than they can reasonably ask people not to dive, and especially as it moves to the West side where there is a lot more diving, they start asking everyone to disinfect. They can’t manage the disease, but they can try to manage the people. (Might be easier to manage cats though.)

          • Anonymous says:

            There was no one monitoring who was diving where. No one was notified until Easter weekend to disinfect their gear before going to the sister islands. And there were plenty of staycations happening for months before that when the north sound was open.

            I do not believe many boaters are disinfecting their bilge.

            Disinfecting is time-consuming. No one wants to do it and no one is going to do it unless they understand why it is important.

            I don’t believe the average snorkeler or diver knows what to look for and why its important to disinfect. And they should!

            SCTLD needs to be explained to the public just like Coronavirus was.

            I am not saying DOE isnt trying but they could be doing A LOT MORE – They have had almost a year!

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