5 Reasons to Explore The Coral Triangle in IndonesiaPosted By : admin | November 7, 2014 | 3 comment(s)
The Coral Triangle is an extensive area of incredible underwater beauty that spans Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Timor – Leste. It has the highest marine biodiversity in the world and much of this area falls within Indonesian waters.
The Coral Triangle is called an ‘underwater Amazon’ this area stretches across 5.7 million square kilometres and its biodiversity sustains the lives of 120 million people. Covering a vast area of coral gardens, shoals of tropical fish and a plethora of migrating mammals. This makes it one of the most sublime underwater experiences for scuba divers, snorkelers and ocean enthusiasts and naturally is a high priority for conservation with WWF (World Wildlife Fund) establishing the Coral Triangle Program in 2007.
- Experience Rich Coral Gardens
There are vast areas of live coral gardens left to be explored in Indonesia, there are 600 species of reef building corals here alone, an unbelievable amount so this is a chance to really experience some of the most flamboyant fans of red and black corals, soft corals, crinoids and tunicates. The colours and variety are spectacular and obviously house all sorts of biodiversity but are under increasing threat from over fishing and unsustainable scuba diving tourism.
- All Creatures Great & Small
The biodiversity of species living in Indonesia’s oceans range from the biggest, the Blue Whale to macro species such as the rare Bumble Shrimp. Six out of Seven species of marine turtles inhabit Indonesia’s waters, a plethora of whale species, dolphins, sharks, Dugongs and recently even Orca’s spotted in Bali’s Uluwatu. It is the shoals of tropical fish that attract scuba divers from around the world.
- Eco Tourism Creates Conservation
Tourism is a huge source of revenue in addition fishing within The Coral Triangle of Indonesia. However there can be conflict between the two industries in terms of fishing rights in certain areas and also the fact that overfishing in certain areas diminishes species and drives away tourism.
The main way of ensuring the preservation of these magnificent underwater ecosystems is to find a balance between tourism and sustaining local livelihoods. All our Eco Escapes create an agreement to ensure sustainable fishing and scuba diving so both parties can benefit from this rich biodiversity.
- A Wealth of Water Communities and Culture
There are millions of people who rely on fishing in Indonesia. As the world’s largest archipelago fishing is one of the primary sources of income for a vast percentage of the country’s population. Naturally illegal, dynamite and cyanide fishing is a problem, as is policing fishing in marine protected areas. Instead it is better to work with people and communities to continue this way of life sustainably.
A fascinating array of people live by or on the sea in Indonesia. Probably one of the most intriguing are the Orang Laut or ‘Sea Gypsies’ who live permanently on the sea. They are not really nomadic but do move around in small areas. Many fishing villages also are built on stilts over the sea and people commute to school and nearby towns by boat. The tradition of living by the rhythms of the sea is intrinsic to Indonesian culture.
- The Great Unknown
The Ocean covers 71% of the Earth’s planet and yet 95% of it remains unexplored. If you take into account that Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world and covers 5,149 kilometres, then so much of this country below the surface remains unexplored. This is not only incredibly exciting for scuba and marine explorers but also for the world of science and medicine. It is therefore vital that these areas are conserved and not degraded for the wealth of resources yet to be discovered beneath the sea. Actively encouraging ecotourism and sustainable fishing from the bottom up and the top down can ensure the survival of these miraculous waters for generations to come.
For More Information: The Coral Triangle – www.thecoraltriangle.com