16 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.

Anemonefish 2884

Anemonefish 2884

Batfish 2889

Batfish 2889

Mating Mandarinfish 2547

Mating Mandarinfish 2547

Mating Mandarinfish 2553

Mating Mandarinfish 2553

Eel, with cleaner shrimp cleaning its teeth 1795

Eel, with cleaner shrimp cleaning its teeth 1795

Eel 2109

Eel 2109

Eel 2211

Eel 2211

Eel 2701

Eel 2701

Eel 1678

Eel 1678

Flamboyant Cuttlefish 2739

Flamboyant Cuttlefish 2739

Frogfish 2038

Frogfish 2038

Pair of Harlequin Shrimp 2436

Pair of Harlequin Shrimp 2436

Coral Grouper 2729

Coral Grouper 2729

Lionfish, with pink parasitic Isopod on lower lip 2375

Lionfish, with pink parasitic Isopod on lower lip 2375

Ornate Ghost Pipefish 2859

Ornate Ghost Pipefish 2859

Puffer 2707

Puffer 2707