(Editor’s note: Conservancy Senior Marine Scientist Alison Green has just finished an expedition to the Raja Ampat islands in Indonesia — amidst some of the most spectacular and biodiverse coral reef ecosystems in the world. Catch up on all her posts from the expedition.)
And so, after three weeks of diving some of the most awesome reefs in the world, its time to say a fond farewell or “selamat tinggal” to Raja Ampat.
Our trip has been a great success. The team has surveyed 47 sites, refined their monitoring methods, established baseline monitoring at many sites, and revised their reef classification system that they will use to design the resilient network of marine protected areas.
Along the way we have seen many wonderful and amazing sights – sea eagles soaring over islands, frigate birds plunging into the sea after schooling anchovies, dolphins frolicking in the water, luxuriant, vibrant, weird and wonderful coral communities, coral reefs teeming with fish, and huge groupers, wrasses, parrotfishes and sharks.
The team has also forged strong bonds and great partnerships across organizations and geographies.
So its farewell from Raja Ampat – thanks for joining us on our journey to the global center of marine diversity. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
(Image 1: Survey team in Raja Ampat. Credit: Puti Raja. Image 2: Merry Christmas from Raja Ampat (Image of Sangeeta Mangubhai and Dwi Ari Wibowo). Credit: Jensi Sartin. Image 3: A marine Merry Christmas – christmas tree worms in massive coral, Raja Ampat. Credit: Dwi Ari Wibowo.)