A Disease is wiping out the Corals of Florida and Caribbean

Jay Kakade

A Disease called as Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease is spreading into the waters of Caribbean which have infected 22 Species. It includes largest and oldest reef corals. Infected Corals Colonies usually die within a week or Month.
Infected Coral develops a white patch which enlarges leading in draining of Coral life. 

Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) was first discovered in 2014 on Corals of Miami. SCTLD is likely to spread by a bacteria or a virus. This Disease has infected corals of 20 countries. In 2021, SCTLD infected Florida's Dry Tortuga National Park which is a Hot Spot of Corals.

How SCTLD Started Spreading?

Researchers have been discovering the causes and spread of SCTLD. New researches have stated, SCTLD can spread slowly via water currents too.

In 2014, Corals of Florida faced a severe bleaching due to heat wave in summer. Corals can recover from bleaching but then very vulnerable to disease. SCTLD spreading is considered to very sudden and disastrous.

According to Researchers, In October 2019, Bahamas have not reported SCTLD, As water currents headed towards Florida Coast. But by the end of the year Corals were infected by SCTLD. Another study too founded that 60 miles have been infected, particularly Brain Corals and Pillar Corals. After which within a month colonies died.
Brain Corals

Some researchers said, "Many of the Coral species can live for centuries. It is devastating to know the death of a coral within a week which took a hundreds of years to grow."

This disease swiped a half and a quarter corals of Virgin Islands in last two years. Researchers are afraid of impact of coral declining will have on Fish. It will severely impact the ocean economy which is heavily dependent on Corals. One of the major reason to spread of SCTLD is Ballast Waters. Coast Guards of Bahamas has issued not to exchange Ballast waters to stop its spreading. 

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