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Bunaken – Indonesia’s National Marine Treasure



Bunaken, an Island in the Bay of Manado is Located at The Northern tip of Sulawesi in Indonesia. The Island has Attracted serious divers from all over the world due to its rich marine biodiversity, which includes over 70 different varieties of coral, five different species of sea turtle and seventy per cent of all fish species that exist in the Indo-western pacific ocean.

Established as a national park in1991, the exemplary co-operation between national and local governments, conservation groups and business owners has allowed the 890sq km of Indonesia’s natural marine treasure to be magnificently preserved.

Biologists believe that part of what makes Bunaken National Park such a treasure trove is the abundance of hard corals that are crucial in maintaining the high levels of diversity in the park. These are the architects of the reef, without hard corals, numerous marine organisms would be homeless and hungry. Many species of fish are closely associated with particular types of corals and use them for shelter and places to lay their eggs. Other members of the marine kingdom depend on hard corals for their sustenance.

Known for its clear visibility, sometimes as deep as 35 metres during the summer months, its abundance of coral and fish life, and for its precipitous walls with water going as deep as 1,500 metres and more, Bunaken is rated by many as the single best dive site in all of Indonesia. The popular dive site of Bunaken Timur is normally reserved for intermediate scuba divers because of its strong current. Here the site consists of a very long reef and is home to an array of beautiful soft corals and bright butterfly fish including the rarely seen zebra butterfly fish. It is possible here to come across green turtles, sharks, the rare dolphin fish or schools of eagle rays gliding elegantly into the blue.