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Corals at Risk!

A disease at hand is threatening our Corals located in the Northern region of Belize. The Fisheries Department has confirmed the presence of the Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) (Stony Coral VO) on the Northern region of the Belize Barrier Reef Complex. The disease attacks the coral colonies and results in a loss of live tissue. Infected corals display “Blotchy” lesions and high mortality rates. The disease was detected in June 2019 and subsequently confirmed in July 2019 at the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve. The National Coral Reef Monitoring Network (NCRMN) met on July 2, 2019 to discuss a way forward to manage this disease. A task force was established to work along with protected areas managers in Northern Belize to determine the extent of the infection along the Northern Barrier Reef Complex and to administer treatment and implement measures to curtail the spread of the disease. The causes of the disease has not been identified however, the disease is thought to be caused by bacteria and can be transmitted to other healthy corals through direct contact and from water circulation.