In Grand Cayman’s magnificent coral reefs, there is a deadly pathogen killing off the stony coral. Therefore, the Department of Environment is requesting additional funds to help stop the deadly coral disease from spreading before it is too late.
Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease
The 2014 discovery of this deadly coral disease has shown to have affected more than 20 species of coral, including star, starlet, pillar, and brain corals. This disease ultimately kills off coral by destroying the soft tissue. And according to the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment,
“Since then, outbreaks of SCTLD have been confirmed in the Caribbean off Jamaica, Quintana Roo (Mexico), St. Maarten, St. Thomas (USVI), Dominican Republic, Turks & Caicos Islands, Belize, St. Eustatius (Netherlands), St. John (USVI), Puerto Rico, and Grand Bahama.”
In efforts to contain and stop the spread, the DoE closed dive sites, but the spread continued. Additionally, the cause is unknown.
DoE Requests Increased Funding to Fight the Deadly Coral Disease.
Director of the DoE, Gina Ebanks-Petrie, has asked the government for permission to reappropriate funds from other areas of environmental efforts to address the issue. Several boat charter operators and business have offered their services to administer the current treatment available with this ask. But some fear its rate of spread is too rapid, which is the reason for the increased funds needed.
Fast action and resources are needed to protect the coral of the Cayman Islands and all the Caribbean Islands from this deadly coral disease.