‘Surveillance Network’ to protect coral reefs

The Puntacana Group Foundation informed that a consortium of national organizations have formed an early monitoring network to detect a new invasive species from the Pacific in the Caribbean.

The species in question is Unomia stolonifera, an invasive soft coral in the Caribbean region, introduced from Venezuela, which has the capacity to proliferate rapidly and exterminate local corals. The alert is triggered by the recent sighting of a very similar octocoral on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico in February 2024.

To this end, two workshops were held to educate and train aquatic centers, fishermen, and the general public in the timely identification of Unomia, should it occur.

The workshops were held in Bayahibe and Punta Cana in coordination with the Dominican Foundation for Marine Studies (Fundemar), the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and Coral Invasorthe Dominican Reef Network (RAD), with the technical facilitation of The Nature Conservancy.

Aldo Croquer, manager of The Nature Conservancy’s marine program in the Caribbean, said that “Unomia has not yet been detected in the country. However, we have to remain alert and prioritize early detection, since this will determine the design of better management strategies for the invasive species, in case it manages to reach the country”.

The organizations that will integrate the network will play an important role in the early warning network to guarantee the use of best practices for its eradication in case it arrives in the country.

Source: Arecoa.com

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Dominican Republic Live Editor

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