AMPAT DIVING FACTS
you have not yet heard much about the Raja Ampat island group then chances are
you soon will. The region has very recently received a lot of media attention
for its phenomenal biodiversity but yet still remains virtually untouched by tourism.
In joining our cruises you can be one of the first to experience this pristine
environment. Unlike many "should've been here ten years ago" destinations
our trips will take you to genuinely untouched environments both above and below
the water. The time to see Raja Ampat is definitely now!
prefer macro photography or action packed big fish diving this area is for you.
The big fish you can expect to see include giant mantas, Mobula rays(often in
large numbers), massive schools of surgeons and Barracuda along with Wobbegang
sharks, giant tawny sharks and variety of others. Macro enthusiasts can see blue
ringed octopus, numerous types of pygmy seahorse, ghost pipefish, frogfish, mandarin
fish and a huge variety of strange and wonderful crustaceans.
Rapid assessment project (RAP) by Conservation International (an American based
conservation group), suggests that "due to it's location near the heart of
the coral triangle coupled with an amazing diversity of marine habitats, the area
is potentially the worlds richest in terms of marine biodiversity" - Mc Kenna,
Allen and Suryadi (April 2002) Some notable results of the survey include, "456
species of hard corals were recorded, which is more than half the worlds total.
No other area of comparable size has this many species." (J. Veron 2002)
Including previous studies and 9 "new" species this brings the total
in the Raja Empat area to 565!
828 species of reef fishes were recorded
in the assessment, raising the known total in the Islands to 970. An extrapolation
technique using 6 key indicator families reveals that at least 1,084 species can
be expected to
occur in the area. (G. Allen 2002) Gerald Allen also broke
his personal record and identified 283 different species of fish on one single
The diversity of Molluscs was also high with 699 species, surpassing
previous studies in PNG and the Philippines. (S. Suryadi 2002) A similar survey
was also conducted by another established conservation group. The Nature Conservancy
which concluded that the area had the highest diversity of fish and coral species
anywhere on Earth.
The diving visibility is normally very good in the Raja
Ampat Islands, ranging from 20-40m+ varying in the different areas. The north
generally has excellent visibility as the water is deep and the islands are small
with very little run off. The larger islands to the south where there are some
mangrove areas, obviously the visibility is less, but they provide the perfect
environment for some excellent muck dives.
Aside from amazing diving, the Raja Ampat
islands offer some of the most beautiful and dramatic island scenery to be found
anywhere. Our itineraries offer a chance to see completely untouched rainforest
and mangrove environments as well as dramatic karst limestone island groups. These
islands are similar in appearance and topography to the rock islands of palau
but without any people or restrictions!
This is one of the most remote
and unexplored regions on earth and provides a very different holiday experience
free from any sign of development or tourism. What could be more satisfying than
to cruise this stunning natural environment on a classic and comfortable wooden
yacht whilst diving the worlds most bio-diverse reefs!
dives are drift dives due to strong currents in the area. The currents provide
nutrients for the outstanding quantity and variety of fish life and corals in
the area. A fabulous variety of colorful soft corals and plenty of reef fish are
found at most sites. Large schools of fish are known to populate some areas, pelagics
such as sharks, Manta and Mobula Rays, dolphin, whales and turtles are frequent
For detail information about Raja Ampat Diving (Irian
Jaya Diving) please contact