A wide variety of reef types can be found in Penemu and the small associated islands. That is one of the reasons it is so biodiverse! Shallow coral gardens, ideal for snorkelling, walls that disappear into the blue, channels lined with seafans, coral slopes, sheltered lagoons and sea grass beds. There is much to explore around Penemu and a number of dive sites have gained international recognition. We are exploring and discovering new sites all the time.
On the northern tip of Penemu, Barracuda is one of the fish aggregation area with a delightful hard coral garden.
Our very own secret lagoon at the base of our first look out post at Batu Rufus has a huge coral garden with walls and slopes on the outer reef. Explore these and find large tree corals and big bommies in the shallows.
Diving Galaxy on the North-Eastern side of Penemu finds a submerged ridge and pinnacle, with prolific fish life in a fast current. Beautiful colourful soft corals and large bommies.
On Harto’s Reef, a feather-star heaven, crocodile fish and critters abound.
Perhaps the most famous of dive sites in the Penemu area is Melissa’s Garden which is located in a group of rock islands off the South-Eastern end of Penemu. This extensive and delicate hard-coral garden is alive with small colourful fish and the ocassional marauding coral trout. Black tip reef sharks are often seen here.
My Reef, a submerged ridge running off the South-Eastern tip of Penemu is an area where fish proliferate with a beautiful hard coral garden.
In February 2013 we undertook a marine biodiversity survey of our two conservation zones in Raja Ampat. The survey was undertaken By Dr Gerry Allen, the regional authority on fish identification and classification & Dr Mark Erdmann , Head of Conservation International's Bird's Head programme. During their 4 day rapid assessment they discovered two possibly three, new fish species & a further 7 fish species were noted as 'beyond their normal distribution ranges'. In just 4 days and 11 sites, the scientists recorded a total of 707 fish species in the 5,600ha Penemu protected area. They were amazed that the average number of species on the sites was 281 species (considered exceptionally diverse) and 3 sites had over 300 species. One site had a truly staggering 357 species on one dive (the second highest fish count ever recorded on one dive).
Aside from its location in the bullseye of the Coral Triangle, Sea Sanctuaries conservation areas contain a wide range of habitats from steep walls and fringing reefs to mangroves and lagoons. This is one of the reasons for the exceptionally high biodiversity.
You can browse a video made by one of the guests aboard Dewi Nusantara on this You Tube linkhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9PGN6dpC3g and another You Tube link shows some of the amazing biodiversity recorded during the trip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH7wEdHfDuc