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3 New Species Of Fish Found In Raja Ampat

27th May 2011

Raja Ampat diving has become well-known for its amazing bio-diversity and stunning array of marine life. It never fails to disappoint even the most discerning diver! The Raja Ampat archipelago is located off the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, Indonesia.

On a recent visit to Misool Eco Resort, on 1 of the 4 main islands, Dr Mark Erdmann discovered 3 new species of fish bringing the total number of identified species in Raja Ampat up to 1414! He found 2 new cardinal fish from different genuses, Siphamia and Apogonichthyoides. The 3rd was a type of dartfish, Ptereleotris.

Dr Erdmann is a marine biologist and senior advisor for Conservation International – Indonesia. He is head of their marine programme and their Bird’s Head Seascape programme. During his stay at Misool, Dr Erdmann also recorded 5 species of reef fish never before seen in Raja Ampat, and perhaps most exciting of all, identified 3 species of Flasher Wrasse on the Misool House Reef.

Flasher wrasses, which are tiny fish and normally quite ordinary looking, have the ability to change colour and transform into flamboyant specimens within a flash. This happens around sunset as the males start their impressive courtship antics to attract the females – and it seems to work! The flasher wrasses identified on Misool Eco Resort’s House Reef were Paracheilinus cyaneus , Paracheilinus nursalim (found only in Misool and Kaimana), and Paracheilinus filamentosus.

This is very exciting news for Misool Eco Resort who are pioneers of eco-tourism and conservation in this area. They have used salvaged driftwood for their buildings and collect rainwater for showers. They have also implemented a Marine Protected Area and provide a Ranger Patrol to enforce the boundaries of the newly expanded 1220 sq km No-Take Zone.

If you’d like to experience all this gorgeous biodiversity diving in Raja Ampat and be a truly ‘green’ dive tourist, then book your diving holiday at Misool Eco Resort. You can send us an email or call us on +66 (0)83 505 7794.

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