Info SCTLD closures on Bonaire

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tursiops

Marine Scientist and Master Instructor (retired)
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There are two overlapping on-going SB threads about Stony Coral tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) on Bonaire.
This thread is specifically about dive-site closures, not speculation on causes, cures, governmental incompetence, restrictions of God-diven diver freedom, etc.
Official policy and information is at Bonaire National Marine Park, and official maps of SCLD status at STINAPA sites is at https://arcg.is/1eCTD80. The lastest posted info on that map is as of 21 April 2023.

The STINAPA Facebook site is at STINAPA Bonaire.

From Facebook today, on a posting from Lars Bosman at Buddy Dive:

Some pictures of me perparing for a Windjammer dive a couple of weeks ago. I don't know how long it will be before we can dive it again.​
North from Karpata will be completely closed for diving as of May 1st, in order to prevent SCTLD to spread over there.​
It is unfortunate that drastic measures like this are necessary, but they are really needed.​
 
That includes the full Washington Slagbaai park. STINAPA is considering taking actions for Klein Bonaire. This will be discussed on Friday, together with their partners.
 
Oh, my.
 
STINAPA's FB page explains that the closure is prophylactic, because they consider it possible that the northwest point will prevent coastwise spread:

⚠️
Important SCTLD Update: After careful consideration and assessment, STINAPA, as managing organization of the Marine Park has made the difficult decision to close the north side of Bonaire for diving, from north of Karpata to Malmok including Washington Slagbaai National Park from May 1st, 2023 until further notice due to Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD).
The reason being that Wekua Point has been identified as a natural barrier that could prevent contaminated water from flowing north, creating a possibility for the north to be guarded. We are not taking this decision lightly but it’s essential to protect our precious reefs & marine life.
🐠

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in this challenging moment and please remember to follow the regulations implemented to slow down the spread such as avoiding contaminated areas, decontaminating your gear, and not touching the reef. Also, a big thank you to all our partners who are doing their best to protect the corals!
[Decision based on article 8 sub 6 Island Ordinance Nature Management Bonaire and paragraph 6 of Island Decision Underwater Park Bonaire.]
Contaminated Areas Map: https://arcg.is/1eCTD80
SCTLD Info: https://stinapabonaire.org/bonaire-national-marine-park/
⛔
Dive sites closed: Carel’s Vision, Nukove, Wayaka, Slagbaai, Bisé Morto, Playa Funchi, Playa Benge, Boka Bartol
 
STINAPA has added a few more sites to its Caution (Yellow) list.
Yellow (Caution) and Red (Infected) sites now exist from Cliff in the southern end of the northern sites down to Lighthouse Point in the northern end of the southern sites....so the entire middle of the western side of the Island.
The new Caution sites added are La Machaca, Buddy's Reef, Lighthouse Point. (2=Caution; 3=Infected)
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If I’m reading this correctly, it’s interesting that Bari is clean. Only one boat in and out, and few divers because of the throttled access.
 
Green, no concern, and red, disease actively spreading seem quite clear. Does anyone know what the definition of orange, caution advised is?

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If I’m reading this correctly, it’s interesting that Bari is clean. Only one boat in and out, and few divers because of the throttled access.
I would imagine there are still a fair number of divers on Bari from Sand Dollar and Den Laman, just not the visitors since the public access was closed due to construction of the park between Den Laman and Chogogo. Very easy to decontaminate gear when using the pier as the special rinse tanks are right there. They were there last August when they thought Karpata was infected.

The Dive Friends boats do worry me. I believe they are docked/moored somewhere in the infected zone south of Bari. As of a couple weeks ago, Dive Friends told me the boats were running from Sand Dollar/Den Laman. They were doing 2 dives off Klein Bonaire or the northern sites, but not mixing the two.
 
Green, no concern, and red, disease actively spreading seem quite clear. Does anyone know what the definition of orange, caution advised is?
I have no specific information for Bonaire, but typically SCTLD-like lesions are first observed -- thus Caution -- and then a week or two later the progression of the disease can be observed. One of the hallmarks of SCTLD is the rapid rate of spread; see ellen Muller's photos for an example. Other examples ae at a NOAA website and the AGRRA (the professional's website) site.
 
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