All’s well that ends well

It has been a great relief that the oil spill in Bonaire caused minimal damage, thanks to the swift response of the Public Entity of Bonaire and STINAPA. Several organizations have joined forces to assist in the ongoing cleanup of the oil spill. However, we should not forget the possible long-term effects of oil on corals, mangroves, and seagrass. Animals such as sea turtles and marine mammals that have swallowed small bits of oil could also be impacted.

Oil spill at the coast of Bonaire

Several oil spills, like the one from the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, have affected similar ecosystems in the region. Studies show that these spills have long-lasting impacts, such as harming deep ocean corals, damaging coastal wetlands, and reducing populations of dolphins, sea turtles, and seabirds. Fortunately, the oil spill in Bonaire was small compared to previous large spills in the area, so we may not see the same extensive effects.

Outplanted farmed conch at Sorobon © Casper Douma

Regarding the monitoring of the farmed juvenile conchs recently placed at Sorobon, they appear to be in good health and growing steadily! As they continue to acclimate, we will soon take them out of the pen designed to shield them from predators. Our next objective is to observe their adaptation to the open ocean environment as they roam freely in the wild.

The farmed pen in the protective pen © Casper Douma

Historic reefs

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