The Beauty Of Underwater World

Sep 29, 2011 No Comments by

The post will consist of three parts, in each of them we’ll dive into underwater world of different locations. It will be interesting, let’s go…

Truth is that good photographer must think in conceptual stories… Which one I can think of in relation to sharks of Fiji ? I’ve been to many places in Pacific, and people tend to be nice and welcoming everywhere, however Fijians hold special place in my heart. I’ve never seen such genuine hospitality and friendliness anywhere in the world, and every time I come back I feel at home. It’s not surprise that I’m going where for 5th time now and bring with myself my best friends this time ! Fijians have big smiles and very special word

Bula !” – which means many things, and serves not as just greeting but I believe as spiritual token, making one who repeats it part of The Culture. Great stuff, trust me !

Anyway, in Fijian waters with help of fantastic Beqa Adventure Divers I discovered another kind of smiles, they are from Fiji too, and they are not exactly “Bula” smiles, they are more … “Bulla” smiles ! Bull sharks, aggressive and mean predators, can smile too ! I spent a lot of time underwater with diving crew of BAD trying to capture this truly magic moments. And I want to present very special gallery called “Bulla Smile” which is going to consist purely of images of “smiling” sharks. As you will see I have some material to start with, and of course I’m going to update it from time to time with extra entries worthy of entry !

The magic of Raja Ampat

Located off the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, in Indonesia’s West Papua province, Raja Ampat, or the Four Kings, is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays and shoals surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo, and the smaller island of Kofiau.

The oceanic natural resource around Raja Ampat makes it significantly potential to be made as tourism object. Many sources place Raja Ampat as their top ten popular place for diving when it becomes number one in terms of underwater biodiversity.According to Conservation International, marine surveys suggest that the marine life diversity in the Raja Ampat area is the highest recorded on Earth. Diversity is considerably greater than any other area sampled in the Coral Triangle composed of Indonesia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea. The Coral Triangle is the heart of the world’s coral reef biodiversity, making Raja Ampat quite possibly the richest coral reef ecosystems in the world.

The area’s massive coral colonies along with relatively high sea surface temperatures, also suggest that its reefs may be relatively resistant to threats like coral bleaching and coral disease, which now jeopardize the survival of other coral ecosystems around the world. The Raja Ampat islands are remote and relatively undisturbed by humans.The high marine diversity in Raja Ampat is strongly influenced by its position between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, as coral and fish larvae are more easily shared between the two oceans. Raja Ampat‘s coral diversity, resilience, and role as a source for larval dispersal make it a global priority for marine protection.

1,309 fish species, 537 coral species (a remarkable 96% of all scleractinia recorded from Indonesia are likely to occur in these islands and 75% of all species that exist in the world), and 699 mollusk species, the variety of marine life is staggering. Some areas boast enormous schools of fish and regular sightings of sharks, such as wobbegongs.

The sardine run of southern Africa occurs from May through July when billions of sardines – or more specifically the Southern African pilchard Sardinops sagax – spawn in the cool waters of the Agulhas Bank and move northward along the east coast of South Africa. Their sheer numbers create a feeding frenzy along the coastline. The run, containing millions of individual sardines, occurs when a current of cold water heads north from the Agulhas Bank up to Mozambique where it then leaves the coastline and goes further east into the Indian Ocean.

In terms of biomass, researchers estimate the sardine run could rival East Africa’s great wildebeest migration. However, little is known of the phenomenon. It is believed that the water temperature has to drop below 21°C in order for the migration to take place. In 2003, the sardines failed to ‘run’ for the third time in 23 years. While 2005 saw a good run, 2006 marked another non-run.The shoals are often more than 7 km long, 1.5 km wide and 30 meters deep and are clearly visible from spotter planes or from the surface. Sardines group together when they are threatened. This instinctual behaviour is a defense mechanism, as lone individuals are more likely to be eaten than large groups.

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