The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released the implementation plan for NOAA’s Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease Response and Prevention Strategy.
Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) is a disease characterised by rapid tissue loss, fast spread, and high mortality rates, thus reducing coral cover significantly.
First identified in 2014, it has as of 2020 spread to 13 Caribbean countries and territories, and recently leadership from Indo-Pacific countries and territories shared concerns over potential spread in the region, further emphasizing the need for urgent and concerted action.
The NOAA SCTLD Implementation Plan establishes key response goals and objectives for NOAA to prioritize over the next five years (2022-2027) and identifies a clear action plan for each objective.
It provides a framework and focus for efforts to slow the continued spread of the disease across the Atlantic and Caribbean regions, and to prevent and prepare for the spread of the disease into the Indo-Pacific region in support of resilient coastal ecosystems, communities, and economies nationwide. The strategy will inform a national-level implementation plan.