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Closure of Northern Dive Sites on Bonaire

by | Apr 28, 2023 | Local News, Nature, SCTLD, Scuba Diving

UPDATE: All rules put in place have been extended until September 30, 2023. At that point, STINAPA will reevaluate the situation.

Bonaire is experiencing Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD).

After careful consideration and assessment, STINAPA, as the managing organization of the Marine Park, has made the difficult decision to close the north side of Bonaire for scuba diving. The closure consists of all dive sites north of Karpata to Malmok including Washington Slagbaai National Park from May 1st, 2023 until further notice.

The closure is due to a coral disease outbreak called Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD). By closing a section of dive sites, STINAPA hopes to minimize the spread of the disease and protect the reefs that can still be protected due to their location.

Closure of dive sites.

STINAPA has identified Wekua Point, just north of BOPEC, as a natural barrier that could prevent contaminated water from flowing north, creating a possibility for the north to be guarded. Therefore, all diving will be banned from north of Karpata to Malmok. Keep in mind that these dive sites might remain closed for months to come. All remaining dive sites on Bonaire’s leeward coast will remain accessible to all users.

Dive sites closed:

Carel’s Vision, Taylor Made, Candyland, Nukove, Wayaka, Slagbaai, Bisé Morto, Playa Funchi, Playa Benge, Boka Bartol


STINAPA’s decision is essential to protect our precious reefs & marine life.

Coral disease has been making its way through the Caribbean for years and it has finally reached Bonaire. The steps taken are to try to slow down the spread of the coral disease.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation throughout this challenging journey. Please remember to follow the regulations implemented to slow the spread of disease, such as avoiding contaminated areas, decontaminating your gear, and not touching the reef.  As always, we appreciate your support of your efforts to help us manage the Bonaire National Marine Park.


(Source: STINAPA)

[Decision based on article 8 sub 6 Island Ordinance Nature Management Bonaire and paragraph 6 of Island Decision Underwater Park Bonaire.]

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Tanya Deen has been living in Bonaire since December 2016. She is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Instructor and enjoys underwater and bird photography. Tanya is the Editor-in-Chief of the Bonaire Insider tourism news blog.
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