UPDATE Feb 16, 2023: SCTLD or White Plague Disease? – we don’t yet know. Based on some discussion I had recently with an authority on this disease, it’s not clear right now whether SCTLD is present in Barbados or whether what we are looking at is an outbreak of WPD (White Plague Disease)…Reviewing my photos to date with reference to descriptions of WPD and SCTLD in Croquer et al., 2021, my interpretation would lean toward WPD rather than SCTLD.However, I must defer to experts for a definitive ID and as of yet, I am told, there is not enough info. to make one. Read more
Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease was first observed off the southeast coast of Florida in 2014 and appeared in the northern Caribbean by 2019. It kills the soft tissues of at least 22 species of corals and has been described as “deadliest coral disease ever recorded” (Wikipedia 25Jan2023).
After reading about this disease in 2018 and the ominous forecasts of what it could do to Caribbean reefs, I kept an eye out for it in the Vauxhall Reef area during my visits in 2018, 2019 and 2020 but saw no sign of it.
In early 2023 we returned to Barbados, Holetown area, after missing a couple of years due to Covid-related issues at home. On January 11, conditions were perfect for snorkelling at the Vauxhall Reef* and I looked out for infected corals… read more