Volume 72

Capacity Building Efforts to Address the Emerging Issue of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease in the Caribbean

Doyle, E; d. Wusinich-Mendez; C. O'Sullivan; J. Lang; P. Kramer ; L. Roth
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Date: November, 2019

Pages: 294-298

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy-Two Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Punta Cana

Country: Dominican Republic


Stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD), first reported in Florida in 2014, has been reported in 2018 and 2019 in the Wider Caribbean Region with cases in Jamaica, Mexico, Sint Maarten, the US Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Belize. To provide capacity-building support to countries currently affected by SCTLD and those susceptible to the disease, MPAConnect (an initiative of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program and over 30 Caribbean coral reef marine protected areas) hosted a learning exchange for marine natural resource managers and partners from the Caribbean with their counterparts in Florida and with coral disease experts. The exchange focused on sharing information among participants about disease identification, monitoring, strategies for minimizing diver, fisher, and ship-borne dispersal of the presumed pathogen(s), treatment protocols, and effective outreach communication. We will summarize the distribution, chronology and known status of SCTLD in the Caribbean region through October 2019 using data submitted to our three organizations and displayed at the AGRRA web site, efforts to help identify the pathogen(s) causing SCTLD and highlight the challenges it presents to managers. We explain the approach to collaborative sharing of information and ideas to help correctly identify, monitor and respond to cases of SCTLD in order to proactively address the unprecedented threat of this new disease.

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