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I'm on my way back to Bonaire this May 18th. This will be my 12th time there since 1986. Over the years I have seen a steady decline in the health of the Reefs. Has any one been there recently and can give me an update ?

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Hey Marc

 

I'd be interested to hear about that too.  Like you, I have been many times and was definitely seeing a decline in the health of the reef and the consequent decline in marine life. Our last trip there was in 2019, pre-pandemic, and have to admit we were starting to get bored with the diving there - even macro life was becoming sparse.

 

If you're looking for something in the region, have you looked at Saint Maarten? We spend almost three years living there and loved the diving. Really good marine diversity and abundance.

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We were in Bonaire in August 2023, and I was disappointed with the reef health and fish life.  The dominant colour was reddy brown, and there was a lot of stony coral tissue loss disease developing, even despite the traffic light system (move from a green site, to amber, then red, and disinfect daily).  Some sites were pretty sparse for fish, particularly those around the Hilma Hooker.   The best life we found was a couple of days after the full moon,  when the reef at Buddy's was just nuts - fish everywhere. 

Ostracods were around, we found some down south near the kite surfing beach.   DIdn't do too many of the northern sites, and some of the most northern sites were closed to protect against SCLTD. 

Turtles not in abundance. but lots of arrow crabs, a few seahorses, and some lettuce slugs up north. Lots of flamingo tongues.  My favourite site for vistas was Weber's Joy - gorgeous, and no-one there. Certainly less red than the south.   

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