STINAPA reopens dive sites.
For the past couple of months, STINAPA has been closely monitoring suspicious coral diseases at several dive sites. Although some pillar corals exhibit very fast-spreading disease, it does not seem to spread to other coral species as quickly as Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) spreads in other places.
After consulting with local, regional, and international experts, it’s unclear if what we are seeing is indeed SCTLD or a particularly aggressive form of white plague, a disease that has been present on our reefs for years. For this reason, STINAPA will reopen Karpata, dive site #9, and La Dania’s Leap, dive site #10. We appreciate your cooperation during the quarantine of Karpata and La Dania’s Leap.
Since this is still under investigation, STINAPA reminds users of the marine park not to contact corals in any way and requires all users to follow the recommended decontamination protocols.
General guidelines for dive gear.
- All gear requires decontamination before the first dive on Bonaire as well as at the end of each diving day. A dilute bleach solution is recommended with a thorough rinse in freshwater.
- Separate smaller tanks and buckets may be used with antibacterial soap for sensitive gear. This water should be disposed of properly.
- In addition, STINAPA strongly recommends only diving in one area (North, Middle, South, or Klein Bonaire) per day to limit the potential spread of the pathogen.
We will keep you informed of future developments.