77 F
Saturday, May 28, 2022

Deadly ‘White Syndrome’ detected among coral colonies at Scorpion Reef

Latest headlines

Deborah LaChapelle masters the art of conjuring cloud-like hues that look ready to float away  

After two decades in Mérida, her homes are among the most distinctive around. They are richly styled, embrace available materials and connect to their surroundings.

Mérida’s Noche Blanca 2022 is finally here, and it’s going to be enormous

Five free buses will help visitors navigate La Noche Blanca in Mérida. Photo: Courtesy The citywide arts celebration...

WhatsApp hacks in Yucatán reach ‘alarming rates’

Over the past few days in Yucatán, a growing number of people are reporting having their WhatsApp accounts hacked. 

A Progreso beach is more popular now that the pigs have moved in

A simple concept is drawing more and more visitors to Pig Beach in Yucalpetén,
Yucatán Magazine
Yucatán Magazine has the inside scoop on living here. Sign up to get our top headlines delivered to your inbox every week.
[metaslider id=”48294″]

A major threat to the coral has been detected at Isla Perez at Arrecife Alacranes, or Scorpion Reef National Park.

Personnel from the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp) off Yucatan’s Gulf coast said they detected White Syndrome, which attacks and kills corals in a matter of weeks.

White Syndrome has been spreading since at least 1998. The disease, a catchall for a host of conditions, has so far affected coral around the world, from the Caribbean and the Philippines to the Great Barrier Reef and the Red Sea.

A range of pathogens are to blame: bacteria, protozoans, and parasitic worms have all been linked to white syndrome.

The disease marches across a coral’s limbs, slowly killing the specimen as it changes to the color of bone.

The syndrome is not to be confused with bleaching, which also turns coral white. Coral bleaching stresses the coral and results in more vulnerability to predators, disease, or toxins. Bleaching doesn’t outright kill coral. White Syndrome, on the other hand, completely destroys the coral’s tissue, leaving only the denuded skeleton.

The disease spread to Florida in 2014, killing 100-year-old coral colonies. It then spread through the Caribbean Sea, reaching Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, San Martín , the Virgin Islands, Honduras, Belize and Mexico, where it was detected in June 2018.

White Syndrome also affects the Mesoamerican Reef, the largest coral reef in the northern hemisphere, whose a coral system measures about 1,000 kilometers / 625 miles from Mexican territory to Guatemala, Belize and Honduras.

More coral colonies have died in six months than in the last 40 years in the Mesoamerican Reef System.

In Quintana Roo, the problem is more serious because the disease spread through 400 kilometers / 250 miles of coastline, wiping out 30 percent of coral species.

UADY academic Alfonso Aguilar Perera reported that in recent years the incidence of coral diseases has increased significantly. Antibiotics drilled into the coral can halt its spread, but that is an expensive treatment.

In Yucatan, there is no plan or budget to head off White Disease at Scorpion Reef.

He suggested that divers at the reef mark evidence of the disease with GPS and alert authorities.

- Advertisement -

Subscribe Now!

More articles

Yucatán boosts its own unique brand in Europe

Authorities from Yucatán announced a new campaign to promote the state as a destination for European travelers. 

After more than 2 months, why are Mérida’s most iconic monuments still covered in graffiti?

Since the protests held on International Women’s Day back in early March, several of Mérida’s historic monuments remain covered in graffiti. 

Scientists warn some types of sargassum could impact on human health

Large amounts of sargassum are now washing a shore in locations previously relatively untouched by the algae, such as the theme...

The sights, sounds, and flavors of vibrant Chinatown in CDMX

Mexico City’s Chinatown is crowded, frenzied, and chaotic — but in an oddly great sort of way.

Mérida, but not the Caribbean resorts, named in Airbnb survey

Mérida Yucatán is one of the oldest cities on the American continent and boasts the oldest cathedral on the continent’s mainland....

Yucatán goes from 0 to 78 daily COVID cases in 6 weeks

The Yucatán health ministry reported 78 new COVID infections, the highest number of daily new cases since March.

Pig farm accused of hiding cenotes and filling them in with cement

A pig farm in the municipality of Homún is being accused of filling in and hiding two cenotes from environmental authorities. 

New augmented reality app tells the story of Mérida’s iconic corner plaques

Mérida´s municipal government is launching a new mobile phone application to tell the story of the city’s iconic Centro corner plaques.

Tortas in the Park: Family carries on the tradition for 63 years 

Taqueria Don Beto in Parque Las Américas. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht Strolling through charming Parque de...

Kankí, the Maya city where the stone eyes of ancient gods burn as hot as the sun

Kankí may be only 10 miles or so from the Mérida-Campeche highway, but feels a world away.