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Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease:

Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) is an aggressive and deadly coral disease that has greatly affected the healthy of the coral reefs of St. Maarten since 2018. This disease can be spread in several ways including; physical contact by divers of a diseased colony who then touch a healthy coral and by living on diver’s gear even when they have traveled for several days. To help stop the spread of this deadly coral disease the Nature Foundation asks all divers to observe the following recommendations:

Warning for scuba divers

  1. In order to protect our coral reefs and prevent the spread of the disease a 100% NO TOUCH policy is in effect on all St Maarten dive sites. Scuba divers touching St Maarten coral reefs could risk a fine.
  2. All scuba diving gear entering our island should be soaked in a 5% chlorine bleach solution, be rinsed in a lot of fresh water and dried in the sun. This is mandatory, Dive Schools will need to forward this message to their customers, and we recommend visiting divers to use the gear of our dive schools.
  3. Please do not use any single-use plastic item on board of the boat or close to the ocean.

To learn more about Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease please read our previous press releases:

Marine Park Rules and Regulations