While 2020 threw us some curve balls, we made the most of it with smaller but still very necessary projects within the British Virgin Islands marine sector.
Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD)
Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease affects up to 20 of the Stony Corals that are found within BVI waters. These hard corals are the main makeup of the BVI reef systems. Unlike many other coral diseases, SCTLD, is known to be fast spreading and can lead to widespread coral death at some sites in just a few months.
An antibiotic paste has been proven to be up to 95% effective at stopping the disease which is spread on the infected corals and then the corals monitored over the following couple of weeks.
Beyond The Reef has played a crucial role over the past 10 months in assisting the government in the monitoring and implemantation of this paste in hopes to halt the spread of the disease before it gets even worese.
Kids And The Sea (KATS) dock re-build
During the hurricanes of September 2017, the KATS dock which was part of the HLSCC College in Paraquita Bay, Tortola was badly damaged and unable to be used. The KATS program encourages local kids to get involved with the sea including sailing, snorkeling and kayaking during summer months so plays a vital part in the community.
Beyond the Reef funded the cleanup of damaged vessels and debris in the surrounding area, plus re- built the dock structure in July so that the KATS programs could once again run.
Shark Tagging and Tracking
Beyond The Reef, in partnership with the US nonprofit "Fins Attached" has purchased the tags and recievers to begin a first ever shark tagging program within BVI waters. The ‘ping’ from the tagged sharks is picked up if the shark comes withing a certain distance of three underwater receivers which have been placed in strategic positions around the BVI. This research will greatly help our understanding of shark migration within BVI waters as well as how far the sharks originating from the BVI travel internationally.
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