29 photos
Indonesia – and particularly eastern Indonesia – has the largest, most beautiful, most ecologically diverse coral reef system in the world. Consider these amazing facts about this extraordinary pinnacle of marine diversity:

· Indonesia has more that 50,000 square kilometers of coral reefs, which is more than any other nation on earth.

· Indonesia is home to 600 of the almost 800 reef-building coral species in the world.


· Eastern Indonesia has 480 species of hard corals, approximately 60 percent of the world’s hard coral species.

· Eastern Indonesia has the greatest diversity of coral reef fish in the world, with more than 1,650 species.

· One can often find a greater diversity of marine species surrounding a single island in Indonesia than exists in all the coral reefs in the Caribbean!

Unfortunately, more than 80% of Indonesia’s reefs are assessed as threatened or “at risk,” largely from over-exploitation and global climate change, as reported in Reefs at Risk: Southeast Asia, a publication of the World Resources Institute. They are also seriously threatened by the increased acidification of the world's oceans, as a result of the dissolution into seawater of a net two billion tons of carbon dioxide each year. For more on this sad truth, see this website, under the "Raja Ampat" Gallery.

Water Spout, Alor 1415

Water Spout, Alor 1415

Alor 1372

Alor 1372

Crinoids 1726

Crinoids 1726

Peacock Mantis Shrimp in Anemone 1317

Peacock Mantis Shrimp in Anemone 1317

Rhinopius (Weedy Scorpionfish) 2559

Rhinopius (Weedy Scorpionfish) 2559

Rhinopius (Weedy Scorpionfish) 2562

Rhinopius (Weedy Scorpionfish) 2562

Rhinopias (Paddle-Flap Scorpionfish) 2582

Rhinopias (Paddle-Flap Scorpionfish) 2582

Rhinopias (Paddle-Flap Scorpionfish) 2580

Rhinopias (Paddle-Flap Scorpionfish) 2580

Crocodilefish 2413

Crocodilefish 2413

Stargazer lying in wait 2501

Stargazer lying in wait 2501

Ornate Ghost Pipefish 1212

Ornate Ghost Pipefish 1212

Ornate Ghost Pipefish 1301

Ornate Ghost Pipefish 1301

Clark's Anemonefish ("Clownfish") 1240

Clark's Anemonefish ("Clownfish") 1240

Green Sea Hare 1204

Green Sea Hare 1204

Glossodoris (Nudibranch) 1306

Glossodoris (Nudibranch) 1306

Spanish Dancer (Nudibranch/Hexabranchus sanguineus) 2427

Spanish Dancer (Nudibranch/Hexabranchus sanguineus) 2427

Squid 1675

Squid 1675

Anemones 1422

Anemones 1422

Moray Eel 1502

Moray Eel 1502

Goby 1313

Goby 1313