Information Officer I (Ag.)
Department of Information and Public Relations
STATEMENT BY THE HONOURABLE VINCENT O. WHEATLEY
MINISTER FOR NATURAL RESOURCES, LABOUR & IMMIGRATION
Wednesday, 10 March, 2021
UPDATE ON THE STONY CORAL TISSUE LOSS DISEASE
Mister Speaker, thank you for allowing me to give an update on the Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD).
In a previous statement Mister Speaker I outlined that our coral reefs were being attacked by this disease, which if not controlled would be disastrous for our reefs which are critical for our environment. The reefs are homes to our sea life, they offer protection to our coast lines during hurricanes/high waves, they are a source of sand for our beaches, they are home to many of the Potfish that locals eat, and they are an important element of our tourism product.
The National Parks Trust in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Unite BVI, the Governor's Office, and the local dive operators have been tackling SCTLD. Efforts will continue until the end of March 2021. Aggressive treatment of SCTLD for some areas has allowed the slow or partial recovery of some affected species. Unfortunately, some species are more susceptible than others. As a result some corals have died. In addition to the aggressive treatment of affected corals, several cartoon scripts have been developed and released as part of the education component of this project. Mister Speaker, I would implore all boaters, tourists and locals alike, to not empty their holding tanks within 1,000 meters from the shore line as SCLTD is caused by unidentified bacteria.
We look forward to the assistance of all Mister Speaker, as this is an extremely important aspect of our environment and our livelihood.
Thank you Mister Speaker.