Bonaire Reef Health?

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globetrotter

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Any thoughts on the health of the reefs around Bonaire? Healthy corals? Bleaching? I haven't come across any recent assessments of the reef health, but if anyone can point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.

This will be our first dive excursion in years. My philosophy has always been "the worst day diving is better than the best day at work" but I keep reading that much of the Caribbean has been hit hard over the last decade by bleaching.
 

arew+4

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I'll be watching for replies, headed back in July. Was last there in December 2016, things were looking pretty good then. Some storm damage from a few years earlier, but I did not see much in the way of bleaching. Some excessive red fibrous algae on a couple of sites, which could have been a result of lots of recent rain that year resulting in nutrient spike.
 

staggsSevin

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I think out of all the places I travel to in the Caribbean (the typical - Cayman Islands, Belize, Roatan, Turks, Cozumel etc.) that Bonaire's reef is typically the healthiest looking. It doesn't have some of the dramatic features as some of the other place's landscapes but it's def my favorite in the Caribbean.
 

Outbound

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I just got back from Bonaire and dove spots from Bopec up north to the lighthouse way down south and a few spots on Klein. Aside from Alice in Wonderland, which seemed to have a lot of algae, the other sites all looked healthy to me.
 

jomcclain

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Just got back from Bonaire. The reefs are not perfectly healthy, but much healthier than what I’ve seen elsewhere in Caribbean.
 

Jersey

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I'll be watching for replies, headed back in July. Was last there in December 2016, things were looking pretty good then. Some storm damage from a few years earlier, but I did not see much in the way of bleaching. Some excessive red fibrous algae on a couple of sites, which could have been a result of lots of recent rain that year resulting in nutrient spike.
Was there in Oct 2021, before that in March 2020 (when the world shut down, made the one of the last AA flights out). I think the fish population was better in 2021 than I've seen recently. Felt like we saw more juvi reef fish as well as larger stuff - snappers, eels, the big parrots, triggers, sharks, turtles. I posited that maybe the year of reduced 'reef stress' > fewer divers, less fishing, no cruise ships > allowed the reef to rebound somewhat. I'm not a biologist, but had a couple epic dives last trip. Head on a swivel 'hey did you see the Queen trigger and then the big Cubera snappers, followed by a big turtle and a Midnight.....' Nominal bleaching, and considering water temps were 80's was great. None of that nasty red gunk. I've seen that bloom blanket a site.
 
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