Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lionfish from the Coral Reef of Manokwari

Coral reef is the richest environment in the world. It is home to thousands of marine animals. One of them is lionfish. Lionfish has unique fins that look like fan. The beauty of lion fish always attracts snorkelers' attention. Their bodies, tail and fins are mostly decorated with bright colors such as red, white and yellow. When I and two Russian tourists were snorkeling in Dorey bay of Manokwari, we saw lionfish. The fish moved closer to urchins when we tried to get closer to it. I think it was the way the fish protected itself from snorkelers whom the lionfish thought as predators. This species of fish is one of the most sought after marine animals by ornamental fish traders and aquarium owners. The unique form and beautiful colors of their bodies make them expensive.
There are some coral reef or marine parks in Dorey bay of Manokwari. I have been promoting them as eco-tourism destinations since last year. Because these coral reef areas are not categorized by the government as MPA (Marine Protected Areas), the preservation efforts for these parks are very little.
I try to inform city dwellers in Manokwari city to stop throwing their domestic and industrial wastes into the sea through a number of articles about marine environment that I wrote in my personal blog. But so far, people in Manokwari city still throw their wastes into the sea. I hope that with the increasing number of tourists snorkeling in Manokwari bay, people will stop destroying their sea and respect the environment. As the capital of West Papua province, Manokwari stretches along the Dorey bay where three small islands are located.

To the south of the Dorey bay is the blue Arfak mountain range. It is still covered with tropical rainforest home to hundreds of species of animals including tree kangaroo, birds of paradise and the bowerbird (amblyornis inornatus). The ecotourism potentials in Manokwari are unlimited. There are a lot of interesting things that we can see and explore in Arfak mountains from trekking along the slopes of the mountains to bird watching under the canopy of the rainforest and from learning traditional medicine to encountering the unique culture of the the indigenous peoples.  
If you are interested in snorkeling in Dorey bay to see various ornamental coral reef fish, or need an interpreter when traveling around Manokwari, please contact me via my email: charlesroring@gmail.com. I will arrange your itinerary or trips in this capital of West Papua province and guide you to the beach, the sea, the rainforest and the mountains. New Guinea is the largest tropical island in the world. The western half of the island is under the administration of Indonesia. The natural beauty of this island is worth visiting and exploring. by Charles Roring
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