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That is marine researcher Leyla Knittwise’s reaction after only a single dive in Olele Bay, Gorontalo. Leyla along with the rest of the Wallacea Expedition Indonesia II team recorded 136 coral species and 160 species of fish during a single dive in mid-August. She said that Olele has notably higher marine biodiversity when compared to other locations surveyed during this expedition, including areas in western Gorontalo.
Coral researcher Dr. Jamaluddin Jompa from Makassar, Sulawesi’s Hasanuddin University said, “Try to imagine the relative narrow coral reef here having such an abundant variety of coral and marine life!” Expedition coordinator Syafyuddin Yusuf said that Olele stands out from other diving locations in Indonesia. He particularly noted the unique ocean topography of Olele, including caves and huge crevasses, a certain draw for world class divers seeking to enjoy natural beauty below the sea. (Since all Miguel’s Diving staff was out of the area at the time, the Wallacea team missed the towering coral pinnacles that make Olele famous to those who have been diving with us.)
The Wallacea team was impressed with how easily large Napol.ean wrasse were to find. They credit efforts by Olele villagers in protecting this fish and their narrow reef. Butterflyfishes are considered a key indicator of reef health. The number of butterfly species found and their abundance puts the health of Olele above coral reefs found in other parts of Sulawesi, including Bunaken Island, Takabonerate Atoll, Togian Islands, and Spermonde Archipelago.
This web post came from an article in Gorontalo Post 16 August 2005.