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Dive Banda Sea, underwater photo gallery
Copyright © Felipe Barrio

Dive Banda Sea, underwater photo gallery
Copyright © Felipe Barrio

Dive Banda Sea, underwater photo gallery
Copyright © Tim Rock

Dive Banda Sea, underwater photo gallery
Copyright © Tim Rock

 
 

The Bird’s Head Seascape’s Fakfak Region General information

This is bound to be the next hot spot in Indonesia, one simple reason: it keeps on breaking the record of diversity and new species are being found constantly. One might say the visability is not great, in our experience it gets better between January and May (15-20 m), where else in November its about 10-15m. If you are a relative new diver this might not be the right choice for you, but if you are interested in photo-video, in looking in detail into all possible known tropical life, behaviour under the water, marine biology or you just want to see species that you only find here… this is your trip!

The MSY Seahorse is the first dive live aboard which started operating on 2006 the Sorong-Fakfak route on the Birds Head Seascape, NW of Papua. Since then we have been discovering new dive sites on every voyage in the new area of Fakfak-Triton Bay.

Although investigated in the 1880s by explorers including the great Victorian naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace - who described it as "one of the most singular and picturesque landscapes I've ever seen'' - the Bird's Head area was largely ignored by modern scientific expeditions until this century.

Dr Mark Erdman, from Conservation International and Dr Gerry Allen who recently lead two expeditions to this area said: "These reefs are species factories. This region is simply mind-blowing in terms of its diversity. For our surveys to uncover over 50 new species of coral, fish, and mantis shrimp in less than six weeks is unheard of in this day and age. From the perspective of marine - and especially coral reef - bio-diversity, it is unparalleled for an area of this size.''

"Compared to the Great Barrier Reef, the Bird's Head has roughly 50 per cent more reef-building coral species - 600 as opposed to 405 - in an area with approximately one-tenth the size," Dr Erdman said. "Although the GBR has slightly more recorded species of reef fish, 1,464 compared with 1,233 in the Bird's Head, it is important to note that the Bird's Head has received a fraction of the scientific attention as the GBR, and there are undoubtedly many more discoveries to be made there.''

The Bird's Head had 10 times the number of reef building coral species as the Caribbean Sea, which is 20 times bigger”, he said. During the expeditions, scientists twice broke world records for the number of species found at single sites - 330 species of reef fish from an area called Fakfak.

Although MSY Seashorse started in 2006 embarking and disembarking from Kaimana harbour for the Fakfak area voyages, we now are doing Sorong-Kaimana and vice versa. This route allows us to visit both Raja Ampat and this new amazing area on the same trip.

 

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