The island of Curaçao is surrounded by a fringing reef. Since near shore development is largely absent and pollution occurs locally only near the inhabited part of the island, Curaçaoan reefs are often in much better condition relative to many other Caribbean sites. Especially the island’s undeveloped, north shore and eastern and western sides of the south shore still harbor coral communities reminding one of reef communities that existed 30-40years ago. Dense Acropora populations are still present and at the island’s eastern side, and Diadema are increasing again in abundance. Reefs are generally characterized by a 50-100m wide sandy reef flat in which scattered patch type coral communities are present. Around 8m depth, the reef flat starts to slope down to depths between 60-90m. Coral cover can be extremely high (>70%) and an approximately 65 coral species can easily be found at any site around the island. Nearly all reefs/ community types can be accessed from shore. The ease by which reefs can be accessed makes them extremely suitable for more elaborate or intensive experimental approaches. In addition to its fringing reefs with a total surface of 20 km2, large inland bays can be found around the island in which mangrove/seagrass communities occur that serve as nursery areas for certain types of reef fish. The number of known fish species for Curaçao is currently 358.