Important Notice: All users please disinfect your gear before and after each dive/snorkel dayWatch the video
Protect Our Reef
Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease
Many countries and islands in the Caribbean have been fighting with a disease called Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) for almost a decade. Recently, it was detected on Bonaire’s reefs. SCTLD is a novel white plague-type coral disease that is highly lethal and fast-spreading. SCTLD was first reported off the coast of Florida in 2014. Since then, it has spread to 22 different countries and territories in the Caribbean. 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 SCTLD guidelines, marine park rules (keep away from pointer sticks, gloves, touching, removing, have good buoyancy etc.) and exercise caution, protecting our marine ecosystem. Together, we can mitigate this disease’s impact on our underwater paradise. We advise all marine park users to disinfect their gear before and after each dive day, know the status of sites, and plan your dive and snorkel trips ahead by using the stoplight system. Some things you can do to be extra helpful is report your sightings to agrra.org, limit dives to one area of the island per day, and avoid the infected zones (orange & red). Bonaire’s reefs have shown to be resilient to other disturbances in the past and we hope they can fight through this one as well.
Help Us Protect The Reef From SCTLD
What are we doing?
Follow These 3 Simple Steps
How to decontaminate gear
Infected Areas Map
Zoom in on this map to see which sites have been detected and which are healthy. Plan ahead before going on a dive to make sure you are not entering a contaminated zone.
Plan Your Dive
The North & Washington Slagbaai National Park Are Closed For Diving
- Carel’s Vision
- Taylor Made
- Bisé Morto
- Playa Funchi
- Playa Benge
- Boka Bartol
Klein Bonaire Open until 2 PM
The park and north sites are still open for swimming and snorkeling. There are three decontamination stations. One at the entrance of the park where it is mandatory to rinse your masks and booties prior to entering. The second one is at STINAPA HQ available for everybody 7 days a week. And another one at BOPEC.
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 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.
Sustainable Use of the Park
Kite and Windsurfing
Boat & Mooring
Swimming & Snorkeling
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.