Bonaire National Marine Park
The Marine Park includes all the waters surrounding Bonaire and Klein Bonaire, from the high-tide mark to 60 meters (200 feet) of depth. This is an area of about 27 km² (6672 acres) and includes the coral reef, sea grass and mangroves. Lac and Klein Bonaire are both a RAMSAR site and therefore internationally recognized as important wetlands areas.
Looking for Activities?
For more information about the many ways to enjoy our marine park, please visit Tourism Corporation Bonaire via www.bonaireisland.com
What is happening?
Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease
Many countries and islands in the Caribbean have been fighting a disease called Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) for almost a decade. It was first reported off the coast of Florida in 2014. Since then, it has spread to 22 different countries and territories in the Caribbean. Recently, it was detected on Bonaire’s reefs. SCTLD is a novel white plague-type coral disease that is highly lethal and fast-spreading. For a long time, the southern Caribbean was one of the last places in the region where SCTLD had not been detected, but with the recent outbreak in Bonaire this year and the detection in Trinidad and Tobago in 2022, it seems the disease has now spread throughout the entire region. This disease spreads rapidly and causes tissue loss in corals causing them to die. It affects >20 coral species in the Caribbean.
In Bonaire, it has been found on 9 coral species, the most common being: Flower coral (Eusmilia fastigiata), Grooved Brain Coral (Diplorialabyrinthiformis), Great Star Coral (Montastrea cavernosa) Knobby Brain Coral (Pseudodiploria clivosa), Boulder Brain Coral (Colpophylia natans), and Maze Coral (Meandrina meandrites). The disease’s persistence in affected areas and continued spread represent one of the most important threats currently facing our reefs.
Your help is vital to monitor and contain its spread. We urge park users to follow the following SCTLD guidelines and general marine park rules (keep away from pointer sticks, gloves, touching, removing, and always have good buoyancy).
Help Us Protect The Reef
What Can You Do?
How to Disinfect Your Gear
Use The SCTLD Map
Use Public Rinse Stations
What is STINAPA doing?
Zoom in on this map to see which sites have been detected, which are healthy, and see where the rinse stations are located.
Washington Slagbaai Park Not Accessible For Diving
Some sites in the north and Klein Bonaire were temporarily closed for a period. However, all dive sites are now open, with the exception of Washington Slagbaai Park, which remains closed for diving. The park is open for all other activities.
Can we stop it?
What happens to the coral?
Does the disease affect people?
How does it spread?
What can be done to combat the disease?
Rules & Regulations
The mission of the Bonaire National Marine Park (BNMP) is to protect and manage the island’s natural, cultural and historical resources sustainably. Visitors and residents alike are invited to come explore Bonaire’s underwater park and encouraged to be aware of their impact on this environment. Through sustainable use of the park we can ensure the marine park is here for many generations to come.
Before entering the water, make sure you are aware of the rules and regulations, click link below
What we do
Stinapa's role in Bonaire National Marine Park
The primary challenge of managing the Bonaire National Marine Park is dealing with the varied groups and individuals who use the waters around Bonaire, and encouraging the sustainable use of natural resources.
STINAPA main responsibilities include: mooring maintenance, law enforcement, research and monitoring, and serving as an advisor to the island government.
Please check out the Bonaire National Marine Park Management Plan for more details.
Protecting important species
Bonaire is home to a number of important protected and keystone species. Please enjoy the wildlife from a mindful distance to ensure their safety as well as yours.
All water surrounding Bonaire, from high water mark to 60m depth, are included within the Marine Park. Click here to learn more information about the different Zones in the park.
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Klein Bonaire (Dutch for “Little Bonaire”) is an uninhabited islet not quite four square kilometers in size, which lies only 800 meters from the closest point on Bonaire
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World famous dive sites
Bonaire’s National Marine Park is world famous for its easy access and has ranked in the top 5 shore diving destinations for many years.
There is a strict no anchoring policy within the marine park, a testament to the health of the reef today. With a total of 86 public dive sites, it is home to over 57 species of soft and stony coral and more than 350 recorded fish species. Many of the dive sites have access by boat or shore. From the shore, dive sites are marked with names on yellow stones. The site moorings are yellow buoys with the names of the site.