Saving reefs!

Since we have been given the all clear to come out of lock down, and since there are NO tourist around, I have been volunteering with the TCI Reef Fund. The big priority now, is to try and combat the very aggressive Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD). First described on the Florida Reef tract in 2014, it arrived here in the Turks and Caicos Islands just over a year ago. This disease can kill an entire coral colony (see 2 pictures above) in a mater of weeks!! Thats hundreds of years of coral growth destroyed in a blink of an eye! If you look closer you will notice a definitive bright white line where the disease has wiped out living tissue and leaves the skeleton behind. We have been conducting surveys throughout the islands and have identified the areas worth saving. Next week we commence treatment with an antibiotic paste to create a "fire break" and hopefully preserve some vital living coral tissue for the future! On a much brighter note, we found an incredibly old, massive pillar coral, and luckily NO disease. This one for sure we will be monitoring and saving!

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