coral reef at archipelago raja ampat

Monday, October 18, 2010 | ,

archipelago raja ampat

The archipelago is a series of four adjacent group of islands located in the western part of the Bird's Head (Vogelkoop) Guinea. Administratively, this group is under the Raja Ampat, West Papua Province. The islands are now the destination of the divers who are interested in the beauty of the underwater scenery. Four islands are members named by the four largest islands, namely Pulau Waigeo, Misool Island, Salawati Island, and Island Batanta.

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The origins and history
The origin of the name of Raja Ampat by local myth comes from a woman who found seven eggs. Four grains of which hatch into four princes who separated and each became a powerful king in Waigeo, Salawati, Misool Misool East and West. Meanwhile, three other eggs became a ghost, a woman, and a stone.
In the course of history, the Raja Ampat Islands have long been inhabited by fishing communities and apply the customary system of Maluku. In this system, the community is a member of a village community. Each village is headed by a king. Since the founding of two Muslim sultanate in the Moluccas, Raja Ampat to be part of the Sultanate Tidore claims. After the defeat of the Dutch Empire Tidore, Raja Ampat Islands became part of the Dutch East Indies claim.

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Raja Ampat Islands society generally traditional fishermen who resided in small villages are located far apart and different islands. They are a friendly community receive visitors from outside, especially if we bring a souvenir for them in the form of nut or candy. This item is a kind of 'peace pipe indian' in Raja Ampat. Events chatting with eating nut, also called "The-the Pinang" often take turns throwing each other mob, the local term for funny stories.
They are followers of Islam and Christianity, and often within a family or clan members who have embraced one of the two religions. It makes the people of Raja Ampat remain in harmony despite different beliefs.

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The wealth of natural resources
The archipelago is a place that has the potential to serve as a tourist attraction, 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 underwater flora and fauna at this time.
Dr. John Veron, coral expert from the Australian experience, for example, in a site it is revealed, the Raja Ampat Islands located in the westernmost tip of New Guinea, 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.
A team of experts from Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, and National Oceanographic Institutions (Lon) Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) have done a quick assessment in 2001 and 2002. As a result, they noted in these waters there are more than 540 species of hard corals (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 in Raja Ampat. None of the places with the same area has a number of coral species as much as this.

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There are several areas of coral reefs that are still very good condition with the percentage of live coral cover to 90%, namely in the Dampier Strait (the strait between P. Waigeo and P. Batanta), Kofiau Islands, Islands and South East Misool Wayag Islands. Types of coral reefs in Raja Ampat is generally fringing reef with gentle slope to steep contour. But it was also found atoll type and type of burns or taka. In some places like the village Saondarek, when the lowest tides, coral reefs can be seen without a dive and with his own adaptation, the corals can still be alive despite being in the open air and direct sunlight.

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Unique species that can occur during diving is some kind of dwarf sea horses, wobbegong, and manta rays. There are also four endemic fish king, namely Eviota king, which is a kind of fish gobbie. At Manta Point which is located in Dampier strait Arborek, you can dive in the company of some tail Manta Ray is benign 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 those tense when we are surrounded by a collection of barracuda fish, although in fact it's relatively harmless (which is dangerous if we see barracuda solitary or alone). Reef sharks are also frequently seen, and if lucky you can also see the turtle is still eating sponge or swim around you. In some places like in Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo also seen dugong or sea cow
Because the area of many islands and narrow straits, so most of the dive at a particular time has a strong current. It allows also to perform drift dive, dive, following a strong flow of water is very clear as he broke through a collection of fish

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Prehistoric and historical heritage
In the area Misool cluster found prehistoric relics in the form of hand stamp that is assigned on a rock wall. Uniquely, the brands of this hand is very close to sea level and not in the cave. According to estimates, the age cap is hand-stamped about 50,000 years and become part of a set of instructions for distributing the path of man from the western region of the archipelago to Papua and Melanesia.
Time aircraft wrecked WWII can be found in several places dive, like on the island of Wai.

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Visiting these islands is not too difficult although it takes time and considerable expense. We can use the airline flight from Jakarta to Sorong via Manado for 6 hours of flight. From Sorong-town big enough and quite complete facilities for exploring the Raja Ampat, there are two choices, go on tour with the boat or stay in the resort pinisi Papua Diving. Although most tourists who come to the Raja Ampat Islands are the diver's current, actual location is attractive also for non-divers as well as tourists have white sandy beaches are very beautiful, the group of karst islands nan fascinating and unique endemic flora and fauna like paradise red, bird of paradise Wilson, maleo Waigeo, various parrots and parrot, common cuscus Waigeo, as well as various types of orchids.

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