Raja Ampat Islands
Located off the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, inIndonesia‘s West Papua province, Raja Ampat, or the Four Kings, is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays and shoals surrounding the four main islands ofMisool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo, and the smaller island of Kofiau. It encompasses more than 40,000 km² of land and sea, which also contains Cenderawasih Bay, the largest marine national park in Indonesia. It is a part of the newly named West Papua (province) ofIndonesia which was formerly Irian Jaya. The islands are the most northern pieces of land in the Australian continent.
According to Conservation International, marine surveys suggest that the marine life diversity in the Raja Ampat area is the highest recorded on Earth. Diversity is considerably greater than any other area sampled in the Coral Triangle composed of Indonesia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea. The Coral Triangle is the heart of the world’s coral reef biodiversity, making Raja Ampat quite possibly the richest coral reef ecosystems in the world.
The area’s massive coral colonies along with relatively high sea surface temperatures, also suggest that its reefs may be relatively resistant to threats like coral bleaching and coral disease, which now jeopardize the survival of other coral ecosystems around the world. The Raja Ampat islands are remote and relatively undisturbed by humans.
The high marine diversity in Raja Ampat is strongly influenced by its position between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, as coral and fish larvae are more easily shared between the two oceans. Raja Ampat’s coral diversity, resilience, and role as a source for larval dispersal make it a global priority for marine protection.
1,309 fish species, 537 coral species (a remarkable 96% of all scleractinia recorded from Indonesia are likely to occur in these islands), and 699 mollusk species, the variety of marine life is staggering.  Some areas boast enormous schools of fish and regular sightings of sharks, such as wobbegongs.
East Indonesia Map :
Raja Ampat Islands Map :
Wayag View :
Wayag Lagoon :
Exploring Wayag :
Exploring Misool :
Wagmab, Misool :
Misool Caves :
Pearl farm, Alyui Bay, Waigeo :
Equator Island, Kawe :
(Credit Patrik Nilsson)
Features on Raja Ampat :
(Scleractinia, also called stony corals , are exclusively marine animals)
The Alcyonacea, or the soft corals are an order of corals which do not produce calcium carbonate skeletons and so are neither reef-building corals nor do they lay new foundations for future corals. Instead they contain minute, spiney skeletal elements called sclerites. Aside from their scientific utility in species identification, sclerites give these corals some degree of support and give their flesh a spiky, grainy texture that deters predators.
A rare image of a new species of live bamboo coral called Isidella tentaculum
Skeleton of Tubipora musica/Organ Pipe Coral
Table coral, which can live in deep water (in this picture, it is in shallow, warm water)
Table coral of genus Acropora (Acroporidae)
How to go there :
www.rajaampat-liveaboard.com or you may contact me