June 17, 2019 – Spanish and French versions of the MPAConnect guide on the detection and identification of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease are now available on GCFI’s website.
There is growing concern among marine natural resource managers across the Caribbean about the spread of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease. This affects some of the slowest-growing and longest-lived reef-building corals, including the iconic brain corals, star corals and pillar corals. It spreads rapidly and causes high rates of mortality among affected corals. The disease is appearing in parts of the Caribbean and marine natural resource managers need to be on the alert for this very real, new threat (1).
A summary poster to help guide the detection and identification of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease was designed in early 2019 by MPAConnect, a partnership between the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute and US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coral Reef Conservation Program with a network of 30 Caribbean coral reef marine protected areas. In response to requests from our regional partners MPAConnect has created French and Spanish versions of the poster. “The English version of the poster was extremely well-received by managers and it achieved tremendous reach throughout the region. As we all grapple with this emerging regional issue, we’re pleased to be able to respond to the needs of our Spanish and French-speaking colleagues,” explains MPAConnect Coordinator, Ms. Emma Doyle. “The poster incorporates best available information on this coral disease exchanged by experts from NOAA and more than three dozen government agencies, universities and conservation organizations. By helping to disseminate the information in three languages, the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute is fulfilling its mission to advance the goals of wise management and conservation of marine resources throughout the Caribbean,” she adds.
To download English, Spanish or French versions of the poster please go to https://www.gcfi.org/emerging-issues-florida-coral-disease-outbreak/. The poster is available in a high-resolution version for printing as well as a smaller version that’s intended for electronic sharing. The new communications products were made possible through support from NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Fund and the US National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. For more information please contact //mpaconnect [at] gcfi.org">mpaconnect [at] gcfi.org.
(1) Scientists responding to Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease in Florida are consulting with resource managers
throughout the Caribbean where disease outbreaks in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Mexico, Jamaica, St. Maarten, the
Dominican Republic share some of the same signs and patterns as stony coral tissue loss disease. However, making
a connection between Florida and similar outbreaks in the Caribbean will be difficult until the responsible pathogen
or other causative agent is identified. That investigation is ongoing.