Cenderawasih bay

 

Cendrawasih Bay National Park: Playground of the spotted Whaleshark

 

The large Cendrawasih Bay National Park in the north of the island of Papua, otherwise known as Teluk Cenderawasih, includes Indonesia’s largest marine national park, and is one of the best dive-sites in the archipelago.

Here are magnificent vertical drops, picturesque hard coral gardens, sponge life and myriads of fish.

The Cendrawasih Bay Park combines coral reef ecosystems with mangrove, islands and terrestrial tropical forest ecosystems. Here are colonies of black coral, blue coral and soft coral. The Park is famous for the 209 fish species that make this Park their habitat, among which are the butterfly fish, the damselfish and parrotfish, and, of course the whaleshark, while mollusks found here include the trumpet triton, the great clam and the cone shell.

This is the playground of one of the world’s largest animals: the spotted whale-shark or rhincodon typus. If elsewhere in the world divers consider themselves lucky to meet one or a couple, here they come in pods and divers can swim along with them quite unharmed except to beware not to be hit by one of their powerful fins.

During World War II, the Japanese fleet took advantange of the bay to try to protect themselves from attacks by allies. Apparently, the protection didn't work out very well, as very numerous wrecks of ships and airplanes can now be explored throughout Manokwari.

Scientist Dr. Gerald Allen calls the Cendrawasih Bay: “The Galapagos of Indonesia’s Reefs”.