Global Coral Disease Database

Author: UNEP-WCMC
Coral Disease Database © UNEP-WCMC

Diseases affecting coral reefs have increased in frequency and severity in recent decades. These diseases combine with existing human induced impacts on coral reefs to compromise their health and sustainability. Up to date information on the global abundance and distribution of diseases is critical in order to predict these impacts, to understand how current reef management practices and human impacts affect the spread and severity of diseases, and to inform policy and management decision making.

This work has resulted from a collaboration between UNEP-WCMC and NOAA NMFS. The project aims to collate information on the global distribution of coral diseases to contribute to the understanding of coral disease prevalence.

The first version of the GCDD was launched in 2000 and was populated with some 2000 points of data from 155 references, mostly peer reviewed scientific literature. This initial data set was heavily biased to the Western Atlantic Ocean. The past six years has seen a rapid growth in coral disease research across the world making available more and more data to begin to fill in the geographical gaps. The current data set now represents the third phase of this collaboration, and the database now holds more than 7,000 data points from around the world.

Coral Disease Database