Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Coral reef in Manem islet

I went to Manem islet on 28 October 2010. I was with the Schepers (three Dutch tourists from the Netherlands). It took around one hour from Numfor island to Manem by boat. The coral reef that I saw when snorkeling was very beautiful. As I am not a marine biologist, I couldn't identify each coral reef fish species. Some dolphins were playing near me while I was taking pictures of the ornamental fish that live among the corals. When I was talking with the boat driver, I asked him, "Do people still catch fish using explosives?" He answered, "No, not anymore, people are now afraid of the police. Catching fish using bombs will destroy the coral reef."
I hope that people will not destroy the pristine coral reef in Manem islet through destructive fishing practices. The best time to snorkel in Manem islet is during the low tide. According to the local fisherman, the coral fish will gather in corals that are still below the sea surface. They will not move away. Coral reefs are their homes that provide food and protection from being the prey of big fish. 
From my reference book, The Coral Reef written by Pam Walker and Elaine Wood, I know that these "rocks" are actually animals. They play very important role in absorbing CO2 gases during the photosynthesis.
Manem islet and Numfor island are not famous among scuba divers not because there are no coral reefs but mainly because this region is lack of promotion. When I was traveling around the islands I could easily conclude that they are very potential destination for scuba divers. In addition, the tropical rainforest the covers the islands have high density of birds species. 
To make underwater pictures, you need to use camera that is protected by a water case. But you can also buy waterproof cameras that are now available on the market such as the Nikon Coolpix AW100 which powered by CMOS image sensor and is able to withstand water pressure of up to  10 meters. Another underwater camera that I recommend is Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT3. Both cameras have built in GPS that are useful to record position information while shooting.
If you are interested in visiting the island, you can contact me, Charles Roring, via my e-mail: peace4wp@gmail.com. I would be happy to be your guide. If your budget is tight, I suggest that you bring bicycle so that you can save a lot of money while traveling around. Recommended beaches in the Numfor island that you should visit are Samido and Asaibori.
Also read:
Coral reef preservation and eco-tourism in Kaki island
Coral reef preservation in Dorey bay of Manokwari
Underwater photographs of coral reef in Mansinam island
Snorkeling trip to Manem islet