Raja Ampat, Papua

Raja Ampat, Papua

The archipelago is a place of great potential to serve as objects of tourism, especially diving tourism. Raja Ampat Islands waters according to various sources, is one of the 10 best waters for diving sites around the world. In fact, it may also be recognized as number one for the completeness of flora and fauna under the water at this time.

Raja AmpatDr John Veron, coral expert from the Australian experience, for example, in a site he revealed, the Raja Ampat Islands located in the westernmost tip of the island of Papua, about 50 miles northwest of Sorong, has the best reef areas in Indonesia. Approximately 450 species of coral had been identified during the two weeks of research in the area.

Team of experts from Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, and the National Oceanographic Institutions (LON) Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) has made rapid assessment in 2001 and 2002. The result, they are recorded in these waters there are more than 540 hard coral species (75% of the total species in the world), more than 1,000 species of reef fish, 700 types of mollusks, and the highest record for gonodactyloid stomatopod crustaceans. This makes 75% of the world’s coral species are in Raja Ampat. No one place in the same area has a number of these coral species.

Raja Ampat ReefThere are some reefs are still very good condition with the percentage of live corals closing up 90%, ie in the Dampier Strait (the strait between P. and P. Waigeo Batanta), Kofiau Islands, Islands and South East Misool Wayag Islands. Types of coral reefs in Raja Ampat coral reefs are generally the contour of the edge of steep ramps up. But also the type found in the atoll and the type of burning or taka. In some places like the village Saondarek, when the lowest tides, can be seen without any stretch of coral reef diving and the adaptation itself, the rock can still be alive despite being in the open air and direct sunlight.

Unique species that can be found at the time of diving are some of the pigmy seahorse species or mini kudalaut, wobbegong and manta ray. There is also a fish endemic to the Raja Ampat, namely Eviota king, the kind of fish gobbie. Manta point in supernal Arborek Dampier straits, you can dive in the company of a few tame Manta Ray like when you dive in Derawan Islands, East Kalimantan. If you dive at Cape Kri or Chicken Reef, you can be surrounded by thousands of fish. Sometimes a collection of tuna, giant trevallies and snappers. But a tense, if we are surrounded by a collection of barracuda fish, even though it was relatively harmless (which is dangerous if we see barracuda solitary or alone). Reef sharks are also frequently seen, and if lucky you can see the turtles were still eating sponge or swim around you. In some places like the Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo also seen Dugong or sea cow.

Because the area of many islands and narrow straits, so most dive sites at a particular time has a fast current. This allows also for the drift dive, dive, following a strong current with a very clear water with the fish through the collection. There are also relics of the plane sank into the Second World War can be found in some dive sites make a good place to wreck dive as in P. Wai. And many more reef sites that actually had never touched. This makes diving in Raja Ampat was more challenging.

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