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Published on Jul 1, 2019
The Florida Reef Tract is under attack from a silent killer: Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD). First documented off the Port of Miami in 2014 it has since spread to most of the reef tract affecting around half of Florida’s reef building coral species.
SCTLD is different from previous diseases in how rapidly it can kill an entire coral colony. An extensive multi-agency effort is underway to track the spread of the disease, identify the pathogen, develop methods to lessen the effects of this disease on our reefs, and to rescue corals for safe keeping in zoos and aquaria around the country. These corals will be used to restore coral reefs once the threat of disease has been reduced.
This video shows a 10-day progression of SCTLD on a colony of Elliptical star coral harvested from a reef in the Lower Keys. All work done under permits from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and FWC.