Protecting Raja Ampat Islands for Future Generations
Posted by Giovanna Fasanelli
in Asia & Pacific and Of Interest
Diving and Snorkeling the Raja Ampat Islands
Having just returned from two exceptional diving and snorkeling expeditions to Indonesia’s Raja Ampat Islands, or “Four Kings”, we are reminded once again just how precious these waters and coral reefs truly are. Raja Ampat’s spectacular biodiversity and pristine landscapes have established the area as one of the most sought-after dive destinations in the world—1,500 reef fishes and three quarters of the world’s soft and hard corals call these coral reefs home. As we explored Raja Ampat, our journey took us from Waigeo in the north, the largest of the “Four Kings,” to the soft coral-rich lagoons and walls of Misool, the southernmost group in the Raja Ampat Islands. The photo gallery above showcases a few of the amazing species we encountered, yet it’s just a fraction of the abundance we witnessed while diving and snorkeling in Raja Ampat.
Supporting Misool Foundation in Raja Ampat
Apex Expeditions is proud to have made a contribution to Misool Baseftin (Misool Foundation), the non-profit charity arm of Misool Eco Resort, to support their ongoing marine conservation work. The foundation’s mission is to safeguard the future of the most biodiverse marine environment on earth by empowering local communities to reclaim their traditional ownership of the coral reefs. In fact, in the local tribal language, Misool Baseftin means “Misool: We own it together”.
Together with the local community, Misool has established a 468-square mile Marine Conservation Area which prohibits the capture or removal of any wildlife—shark finning, all types of fishing, and the hunting of turtles or collection of turtle eggs are prohibited. They have also recruited a locally-staffed marine ranger unit to patrol and protect these waters which lie just outside the traditional fishing grounds of the local villages.
See our Raja Ampat Photography and Field Journal for more images from this incredible region. To learn more about Misool Foundation, or to make a US or Canadian tax-deductible donation through their partner WildAid (specify the program: Indonesia – Misool / Daram), please visit their website at www.misoolfoundation.org.
We couldn’t be more proud of our commitment to the marine conservation work being carried out by Misool Foundation to ensure that the waters and marine life of Raja Ampat are protected for future generations.