Cruise Ship Damages Coral Reef in Indonesia's Raja Ampat

Cruise Ship Damages Coral Reef in Indonesia's Raja Ampat”

A British-owned cruise ship ran over Indonesia's coral reefs at Raja Ampat after steering away from its original tour course.

In a statement to the Guardian, Noble Caledonia said it was 'firmly committed to protection of the environment, which is why it is imperative that the reasons for it are fully investigated, understood and any lessons learned incorporated in operating procedures'.

The damage to the slow-growing hard corals is likely to take decades to fix, and the compensation fund will be used to assist with the rehabilitation of the reef, along with the possibility of installing buoys to prevent ships from sailing too close to the reef in future. The company assured that they will completely cooperate to the investigation.

A spokesperson from Noble Caledonia said that it was "an unfortunate incident".

However, Indonesians are not happy.

An early official evaluation last week said the incident had damaged approximately 1,600 sq m of coral in one of the world's most lovely reefs.

A British cruise ship has destroyed almost 2,000 square yards of pristine coral off the coast of Indonesia.

While the MV Caledonian Sky and its passengers came out unscathed, residents in the Indonesian archipelago of Radja Ampat are furious.

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"This is unacceptable! Do they know how long it takes for corals to form?"

Conservation International Indonesia is working with experts from various national universities and investigation institutes.

"Even when (the reefs) grow back, they will not be as pristine as they were before", he added.

The boat, which was carrying 102 passengers and 79 crew, became grounded on the reefs and had to be re-floated by a tug boat before continuing on its journey. Although its location is rather isolated and there is few infrastructure available, every year a considerable amount of tourists visit the area to enjoy Raja Ampat's rich natural beauty and diversity.

"It will take decades to restore the reef", the lead researcher told the Jakarta Post.

A professional diving instructor, Mr Sauyai, 30, runs a home stay and dive centre on Raja Ampat, a remote and idyllic island chain in the west of Indonesia's Papua province. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Coral Triangle houses one of the biggest commercial tuna industry. The cash for settlement will be used for the rehabilitation of the coral reefs.

Also, one of the most recent activities is the joint work with the communities to protect all turtle species living in the Coral Triangle.

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