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SCTLD Restrictions Adjusted as of October 1, 2023

by | Sep 29, 2023 | Nature, SCTLD, Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Watersports

A diver in the shallows on Bonaire

Latest updates on the SCTLD restrictions.

As you know, Bonaire has been dealing with Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) for a while. To stop the spread of the disease, hours have been restricted on Klein Bonaire, scuba diving has been banned in the north above Karpata, and a stoplight system (diving from green to orange to red) along with disinfecting gear has been established. While some regulations will stay in place, other regulations will be relaxed.

Klein Bonaire

With the restricted visiting hours of Klein Bonaire, we unfortunately couldn’t stop Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) from reaching the reef. However, the spread of SCTLD was significantly slowed down with reduced hours of use by reducing the pressure and buying ourselves time to prepare and continue looking for long-term solutions through coral treatment and restoration activities.

As of October 1, 2023, visiting hours for Klein Bonaire will return to normal. This means that everyone can Klein Bonaire from 7 AM to 7 PM, seven days a week. While the hours have been relaxed, disinfecting gear and using the stoplight system is still mandatory when planning your trips. Please use the reefs listed in green as your first location of the day before moving to orange and red. To find out the status of each dive site, visit the continuously updated map and plan accordingly. To see the status of the reef, click on the colored dot.

Sites north of Karpata

Thankfully, STINAPA has not detected any SCTLD in the northern part of the island, and therefore, all restrictions will continue with NO DIVING in the area north of Karpata to Malmok. This includes the Washington Slagbaai National Park. Snorkeling is allowed only after thorough disinfection of your gear and following the stoplight system. There is a rinse station at BOPEC for use prior to snorkeling.

East Coast

The east coast (Boka Grandi to Willemstoren) will remain accessible for all users for the time being. Please ensure all gear has been disinfected before entering the water and the stoplight system is considered by diving the east coast before going somewhere else.

Public Rinse Stations

Public rinse stations are scattered throughout the island and are open to everyone for disinfecting snorkel and dive gear. The public rinse stations can be found on the map and are listed in blue. Simply click on the blue to see the location of the rinse stations.

We appreciate your understanding, cooperation, and dedication to the Bonaire National Marine Park and its valuable corals. Thank you for working together and giving our corals a fighting chance!

(Source: STINAPA)

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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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