Important Notice: please disinfect your gear after each dive/snorkel day

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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

Download the Marine Park Brochure

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?

You can help by practicing good buoyancy and following the BNMP general rules and these 3 simple measures to slow the spread:

  1. Decontaminate your gear before and after each dive/snorkel day to ensure that it is disinfected before entering the sea.
  2. Follow Status of Sites: enjoy green areas and check temporary closures ->Click here for map
  3. Plan Your Trip. Use the stoplight system when diving and snorkeling. Meaning swim from green to orange/red and from orange to red. This is to avoid swimming in a healthy area after being in an infected area. Click here for map 
  • For extra help: Report Sightings, limit dives to one area of the island per day, and avoid infected zones.

It’s essential for everybody to clean their gear before and after every dive/snorkel day. After disinfecting gear, let dry completely.

  • Non-sensitive gear – soak 5 mins in 10% bleach solution, rinse in freshwater.
  • Sensitive gear – soak 5 mins in 7% lysol solution, rinse in freshwater.
  • Extra sensitive gear – rinse in soap then fresh water

Click Here To Watch Video 


From our monitoring dives, we’ve created a map to make it easier for marine park users to to see the developments happening and see the status of sites. Follow status of sites & plan trips ahead using this map before going on a dive/snorkel trip to make sure you are not entering a green area after being in a red/orange zone. Do not enter a green zone after being in a contaminated area without disinfecting your gear. Click this link for the map or keep scrolling below to see it.

Click here for map 

  • Green = no concern
  • Orange = caution advised
  • Red = SCTLD actively spreading
  • Blue = public rinse stations

Disinfect your gear hassle-free at our free rinse stations open for the public before enjoying our beautiful sea. This is mainly thanks for our partners for their participation in providing free stations available island-wide. You can find the rinse stations on the SCTLD map.

We have been actively monitoring the spread since prior to its arrival. We are in close contact with local and international professionals and stakeholders to find solutions. We’re collecting samples and documenting everything as we go. From our research, we’ve implemented measures for marine park users to follow and had multiple stakeholder meetings. Also, we’re looking into treatment and intervention options that could help slow the spread. After much research and conversations with specialists, we recently began trials to treat corals by applying a special mixture of amoxicillin and Base2B coral ointment to some infected corals. We will continue to inform the community of our findings and will do so to the best of our abilities.



Zoom in on this map to see which sites have been detected, which are healthy, and see where the rinse stations are located.

Temporary Measures

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?

Currently we see that the disease is already spreading naturally through the marine park. This indicates that the pathogen is already in the water and will spread. It is no longer possible to completely stop it, but we can try to minimize the impact of the disease on our reef by slowing it down.

When a cortex infects the tissue, the living finite lag covering the skeleton, dies and only the white skeleton is left behind. The parts that dies does not recover. This disease spreads very quickly on a coral, killing 3-5cm per day (sometimes up to 41cm per day) which results in the coral dying within a few days/weeks. SCTLD does not affect all types of corals equally. Certain corals are more vulnerable, while others seem to be more resilient.

No, in the nine years that the disease has been active, there hasn’t been any case indicating that it is harmful to humans or even fisheries.

The disease can spread through the water current, but also with human activity. It can be seen that on many islands the disease starts next to docks which indicates that maritime traffic may also play a role in this. Many bacteria can survive well on objects such as rubber and neoprene, especially when these are not completely dried. Therefore, all users of Marine Park, including people who snorkel, are asked to disinfect their equipment.

STINAPA is monitoring the situation and using the knowledge of other newly infected areas to adapt the measures taken. We have implemented several measures for users that we believe can help slow down the disease. We are also going to use antibiotics to treat certain types of corals. In the long term, together with several partners, we will also conserve resistant corals that can be used to replant on reefs.

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

Rules and Regulations

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.

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.

View Interactive Dive Map >

Don't forget

Pay your nature fee

The Stinapa Bonaire nature fee is mandatory for all users of the Bonaire National Marine Park and the Washington Slagbaai National Park.

Valid per calendar year JAN-DEC

Pay your nature fee