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‘Coral Covid’ Killing Miles of Reef

Several of the country’s most outspoken environmental groups sounding the alarm about a highly contagious and deadly disease that they say has ravaged more than 100 miles of coral reefs since 2019.

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NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Several of the country’s most outspoken environmental groups sounding the alarm about a highly contagious and deadly disease that they say has ravaged more than 100 miles of coral reefs since 2019.

Local environmental experts have dubbed it “coral covid” and say if nothing is done now the country’s coral reefs could be wiped out in five years.

Jasmin Brown reports.

 



The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) and local chapters of Waterkeepers Alliance and the Perry Institute For Marine Science all say the situation has reached a critical point as stony coral tissue loss disease loss has been confirmed around six islands.

According to the environmentalists, coral covid was first discovered in reefs around Grand Bahama in 2019 and has since spread to reefs Around New Providence, Berry Islands, Eleuthera, San Salvador and Long Island.

And if that’s not bad enough, they say the coral disease that was first discovered in Florida in 2014 has already wiped out 80 to 90 percent of certain brain coral around Grand Bahama.

Executive director of Waterkeepers Bahamas Rashema Ingraham, who is based in Grand Bahama, says the coral damage has been devastating.

Perry Institute Marine Conservationist Lashanti Jupp says they have come up with a strategy to do just that and save the remaining coral reefs.

Carey says taking immediate action has been challenging as there has been a hold-up getting permits from the relevant government agencies.

However, he says they got a favorable and encouraging response after meeting with several government officials during a meeting this morning.

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