• Photo by Rantje Allen

  • Photo by William Tan

  • Photo by Rantje Allen

  • Photo by William Tan

  • Photo by Rantje Allen

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Tag Archives: Gorontalo

Babirusa, an endemic animal of Sulawesi and surroundings

Babirusa, also called the pig deer, is a strange creature found only on Sulawesi and a few surrounding islands. One major nature reserve protecting it is in Gorontalo.

The Pig with Curving Tusks

babirusa
Babirusa

The most distinctive feature of the babirusa is upward curving tusks. Besides a pair that juts from the animal’s jaw, another pair actually perforate the snout. Over time, those will curl backwards. Unless the babirusa wears these down with fighting or rooting, they will eventually penetrate the skull. Only adult males have those special tusks. However, this distinctive feature occurs only among male babirusa found on Sulawesi. So, its scientific name is Babyroussa celebensis.

During the last decade, the original species has been split into several others. Those found on Buru and Sula islands are Babyroussa babyrussa. Known as the Golden babirusa, its teeth are clearly shorter and more slender than its Sulawesi relative. Also, the fur of B. babyrussa is thick. Colors range from creamy gold to black. However, its hind quarters are black. Plus, the hairs are long.

Endemic to some Togian islands is B. togeanensis. Whereas the Sulawesi babirusa has so few hairs it appears almost naked, the Togian species has a pelt that is dark above and light below. Its hairs are quite short.

No one knows why no babirusa species live in islands between Sulawesi and the Buru-Sula islands. Also, an early European description of this curved-tusk animal is by Piso and dates back to 1658.

Lifestyle of the Babirusa

Nantu reserve
Deep in Nantu Reserve

Like other swine species, the babirusa is an omnivore. However, its snout lacks a certain bone. That means its nose is too soft to dig into the ground like other pigs. It will only dig in mud and soft earth. This animal will eat vegetation, fruit, and animal material. Evidently, its strong jaws can crack nuts.

Adult males are usually solitary, whereas females and young travel together. A female will only produce one or two piglets per litter. Moreover, females only have two teats.

Nantu Forest Protects Endemic Species

In the heart of Gorontalo province is Nantu Forest. It consists of a wildlife reserve, measuring 33, 023 hectares plus a protected forest of 19,606 hectares. Additionally, there are ten thousand hectares of production forest. In total, its virgin rainforest measures about 500 square kilometers.

This preserve protects the watershed of two rivers. They are the Nantu and the Paguyaman. However, the primary purpose of the reserve is the wildlife of which much is endemic. This includes the Sulawesi babirusa.

One edge of the reserve is accessed via a very rough road. The trip can take four hours, depending on conditions. Since Nantu Preserve is not a national park, special permission from the Forest Ministry and the police is required for entry.    If you would like to add a trek after your diving trip, please let us know when you make dive reservations.

Jungle trekking in Gorontalo leads to hot spring caves

Jungle trekking in Gorontalo is a great addition to a diving holiday. Any easy-to-access half day trip leads through primary jungle to caves formed by hot springs.

Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park

Gorontalo and North Sulawesi provinces contain a significant national park. Its new name is Bogani Nani Wartabone. Previously, its name was Dumoga Bone National Park. Nani Wartabone was a native Gorontalo freedom fighter. He led the successful resistance against the Imperial Japanese occupation during the Second World War. Visitors to the Gorontalo side of this park can visit a house museum dedicated to him.

The park comprises over 2,800 square kilometers. According to conservationists, this national park is the most important conservation area on Sulawesi. The park provides refuge for many of Sulawesi’s endemic species. A Maleo hatchery is located a couple hours’ hike into the park.

Caves and Hot Springs

Jungle trekking into Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park gives visitors access to two small caves. Seepage from underground hot springs formed both caves. These caves are in their natural state with no human development.

Sauna cave Gorontalo
Ceiling of the Sauna Cave

One tiny cave is called the Sauna cave. Only the slim and agile trekker can climb into it. Inside it indeed feels like a sauna, complete with steam and dripping hot water. Flow stones and dramatic stalactites grow from its ceiling. High on a cliff is the Fairy cave. Locals call it Goa Bidadari. Access to this cave requires scrambling up a steep and barren slope where mineral waters leach over the surface. Only fit and agile trekkers should attempt the brief ascent. They do so at their own risk without any recommendation from Miguel’s Diving. These caves are located in the Hungayono area.

Jungle Trekking to Waterfalls and the one River

jungle trekking to water fall
Newly-formed waterfall

Jungle trekking in the national park can lead to two waterfalls. One falls dropping one hundred meters is accessed via Lombongo Hot Springs. Another falls formed during the COVID-19 pandemic after an earthquake. This waterfall is in the Hungayono area near to the Maleo hatchery. Its waters descend into the Bone River

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, which flows through the national park. These two falls cannot be accessed on the same trip. So, those seeking jungle trekking to a waterfall must choose. Be warned that scalding hot, underground water pours into the Bone River.

Wildlife Sightings

Trekkers should be on the lookout for various wildlife. Officially

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, the national park has identified 125 bird species, 24 mammals, 23 amphibians and reptiles. Moreover, tree species number 289. Often, trekkers can see or hear the endemic Gorontalo macque (Macaca nigrescens). This is actually a different species from the Sulawesi macaque (Macaca nigra) found in North Sulawesi’s Tangkoko Reserve. Neither of these primates are monkeys because they lack tails.

Mostly likely, trekkers will glimpse endemic kingfishers. The Green-backed kingfisher (Actenoides monachus) sports a brilliant blue head and orange beak. They live only in north and central Sulawesi. Additionally, lucky visitors can see the Sulawesi dwarf kingfisher (Ceyx fallax), which is distinctly red and found only on Sulawesi.

Other Sulawesi endemic birds include the Grey-sided flowerpecker (Dicaeum celebicum) with its brilliant red breast or the Sulawesi scops owl (Otus manadensis). Watch for green parrots with red heads. These are endemic Sulawesi hanging parrots (Loriculus stigmatus). Other endemics include hornbills, woodpeckers, rails, goshawks, pigeons, other parrots.  

If you would like a jungle trek on a free day or after a short diving day, please let us know when you make dive reservations.

Cuvier’s beaked whales dive deep off Gorontalo

Cuvier’s beaked whales often swim past locals fishing for Yellowfin tuna. Known for their diving ability, this medium-sized whale loves Gorontalo’s four-kilometer-deep waters.

A Pair of Cuvier’s Beaked Whales Caught on Video

Video of Cuvier’s beaked whales by Miguel’s Diving staff

Since Miguel’s Diving staff are all local fishermen, they will often take their small outrigger canoes into the deep ocean. There, they will handline Yellowfin tuna. One day, Boka noticed two Cuvier’s beaked whales swimming far offshore. He captured their passing using his cell phone. Local fishermen in Gorontalo are familiar with many cetacean species, including this one. The very small dorsal fin is one clue. Another is their brownish coloration.

These whales usually swim in small pods of two to seven individuals. However, males can be solitary. As seen in the video, the body and head emerge from the water while swimming. However, they do little breaching. Before taking a deep dive to feed, they will arch their backs.  

A Living Fossil Gets a Name

French naturalist Georges Cuvier was analyzing a skull fragment for his research. He mistakenly concluded that it was a fossil from an extinct species. That was in 1823. However, several decades after his death, other researchers discovered the skull belonged to a living whale. Moreover, it lives worldwide in temperate, tropical, and subtropical oceans. That is where the Cuvier’s beaked whale gets its name. Its scientific name is Ziphius cavirostris.

Cuvier’s beaked whales
Sketch of Cuvier’s Beaked Whale by NOAA Fisheries

The body color of this whale varies from dark gray to rusty brown. Individual whales can have very different appearances. As the whale ages

, its head grows whiter. This is more pronounced in males. Moreover, adult males possess two large, cylindrical teeth. These protrude from the lower jaw. As observable in the video, these whales keep their distance from boats and humans. For anyone lucky enough to see a Cuvier’s beaked whale close up

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, most noticeable will be the smiling appearance of its jaw. Also, many scars will be visible. Bites from cookie-cutter sharks, lampreys, and deep-squid are the cause of this scarring.

Deep Dive Record Holders

Cuvier’s beaked whales are famous deep divers. For that reason, they normally inhabit waters deeper than one kilometer. The ocean depths of Tomini Bay along Gorontalo’s southern coastline plunge more than four times that depth. These whales dive deep for squid. They will also eat fish and crustaceans. Hunting at such extreme depths requires the use of echolocation to find squid to eat.

The Cuvier’s beaked whale is the deepest diving mammal in the world. Its deepest recorded depth for diving is around three kilometers. In order to dive that deeply, this whale must have incredible breath-holding ability.

In fact, in a 2020 study from Duke University USA analyzed around 3,700 deep dives by Cuvier’s beaked whales. The research team placed satellite tags on 23 whales. The study lasted five years. The median time spent diving for food lasted about one hour. After that, the whale surfaced to breathe. However, one male shattered old records with two extreme dives. One dive lasted almost three hours. His longest dive lasted three hours and forty-two minutes

Cuvier’s beaked whales can live up to sixty years. An adult whale measures between five and seven meters in length.

For your chance to watch passing cetaceans from our dive boat, please make your dive reservations with us.

Zosterops chloris nests at Miguel’s Diving dive center

Zosterops chloris is a small lemon colored bird with a beautiful ring of tiny white feathers around its eyes. Commonly called Lemon-bellied white-eye, it is endemic to Indonesia. Here its name is burung katamata laut.

Regular Nesters in Miguel’s Diving Green Zone

Lemon-bellied white-eye
Lemon-bellied white-eye, an endemic

At our dive center, we seek to maintain green zones, even though our property is small. In front we maintain a grassy area edged in flowers. In the back are clusters of bamboo and trees. These are commonly used as green fencing locally. Also, we have climbing, flowering vines.

With branches towering far above the ground, a pair of Zosterops chloris have built their nest for several years in a row. After raising their young

, all the birds leave until next nesting time. As of this blog posting, they are nesting again and sing twice a day.

Rescuing Fallen Juvenile Birds

Zosterops chloris juveniles
Rescued juvenile White-eyes

One year when the juvenile birds were learning to fly, both fell to the ground. Fortunately, our dive staff were working on the speed boats that day. Boka, a dive master, noticed a large rat quietly approaching the helpless birds. He quickly scared the rat away and picked up the baby birds. Then, he placed each one on a low branch.

The parent birds quickly flew down. They made much chirping sounds to encourage their babies to try to fly up the tree in a series of short flights. One baby made a return to the nest high in the tree. Its sibling was too afraid to try. So, one parent bird perched next to it and they both slept there through the night.

Naturally, our dive staff stayed away from the baby and parent. We only checked on them occasionally during the night. However, by dawn both were gone. In the following days, we saw all four birds. After that incident, the adults seem to know Boca and start chirping if he is working at the dock.

Zosterops chloris

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, Exclusive to Indonesia

Zosterops chloris is found from the Sunda Strait west to the Aru Islands. However, it is said to be missing from the Indonesian archipelago’s large islands of Borneo, Java, Sumatra, and Timor. Based on small color variations, research in 2017 states that there are five sub-species. We are not sure which one of those nests on our property. The geographic complexity of Indonesia has created genetically isolated populations.

This small bird measures about 11 centimeters. It has a lovely, high-pitched song. Dive staff hear the nesting pair sing in the early morning. Also, they sing in the late afternoon. Recordings of their song are available at this link.

For your chance to see one of these delightful birds while waiting to board one of our speed boats, please make your dive reservations with us.

Thelenota rubralineata Graces Gorontalo Reefs

Thelenota rubralineata, the Ruby-striped sea cucumber, lives in selected dive sites in Gorontalo. This beautiful sea cucumber does not occur in abundance anywhere in Indo-Pacific waters.

Distribution of a Beautiful Sea Cucumber

Thelenota rubralineata in Gorontalo
A Ruby-lined sea cucumber in Gorontalo

The Ruby-lined sea cucumber lives at a few Gorontalo dive sites. It prefers sandy areas between dense coral ridges. Only occasionally will one crawl over Gorontalo’s hard coral colonies. Also, this sea cucumber rarely ventures above 15 meters. Miguel’s Diving staff have not seen it below 30 meters. So, its environment in limited.

Throughout the Indo-Pacific region, Thelenota rubralineata is uncommon. However, it enjoys wide distribution. Researchers have found it in Papua New Guinea

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, the Solomon Islands, Guam, New Caledonia, the Philippines, Indonesia, the  South China Sea, Fiji, and Palau.

Thelenota rubralineata, a Recent Species

Surprisingly, Thelenota rubralineata is a recently described species. Two researchers, Massin and Lane, found it in Micronesia and described it officially in 1991. Sea cucumbers of the Thelenota genus have an internal ring of plates. This ring is called a calcareous ring. It is located between the mouth and stomach.

Thelenota rubralineata has a distinct external appearance. Various spiked protrusions occur over its back. Their tips are yellowish. Multiple small spikes occur randomly on its sides. The mazes of red lines cover its whitish back and sides. Underneath

, the Ruby-lined sea cucumber has tiny feet called pedicels. These are semi-sticky. Thelenota rubralineata moves by contracting and extending its body. This beautiful cucumber has a soft body and is not venomous. Its usual size is 30 to 40 centimeters long. Its maximum size is 50 cm.

close up of Ruby-lined sea cucumber
Close-up of Thelenota rubralineata

Some people use Red-striped sea cucumber as a common name, although it clearly has no stripes. Reflecting its Latin name, Miguel’s Diving staff call it Ruby-lined.

For your chance to see this beautiful sea cucumber for yourself, please make your dive reservations and join us for some great diving.

Heinz Online Magazine Showcases Salvador Dali Sponges

Heinz Online Magazine showcases Salvador Dali sponges of Gorontalo in its sixteenth edition.

Surreal Sponges

One of Gorontalo’s claim to fame is the discovery of Salvador Dali sponges. This morphology of Petrosia lignosa is unique to the northern coastline of Tomini Bay, Indonesia. The article found in Heinz Online Magazine explains the discovery. Also, it explains the origin of these bizarre looking sponges. Rantje Allen christened this sponge after the famous Spanish painter. He is the diving pioneer in Gorontalo. The surreal style of Salvador Dali describes the appearance of these giant sponges.

Divers will usually find these sponges below 25 meters .There ,they are protected from seasonal high waves and storms. Additionally, they grow off the vertical coral walls in Gorontalo. There, ocean currents bring plankton to them. The article explains how they can break off in storms. When this happens, these ancient giants fall to the ocean bottom. They can no longer feed and soon die, turning to dust in a matter of weeks.

Heinz Online Magazine

The article on Salvador Dali sponges is available for free download. It comes in PDF format. Moreover, it comes in English, German or Chinese. It is in Heinz16 edition of the magazine with a release date of August 31, 2019. Heinz Press of Nuremberg, Germany, is the official publisher.

Mr. Heinz Ritter publishes Heinz Online Magazine. He is well known among underwater photographers. Actually

, he published the original UWF, a highly regarded magazine on photography. That original publication became Germany’s Unterwasser magazine. This occurred in the early 1990s. Mr. Ritter served as publisher for that new magazine for years. Eventually, Mr. Ritter sold his interest in Unterwasser. After that, he started Heinz Online Magazine. Since its format is online, printing issues do not constrain design. Mr. Ritter is known for his unique design perspective.  

Photos by Steve Jones, Underwater Photographer

The Heinz Online Magazine article on Salvador Dali sponges comes with incredible underwater photographs by Steve Jones. Mr. Jones is an award-winning underwater photographer and journalist. His travel and work spans the globe, including Antarctica. Ironically, he received his first break as an underwater photographer from Unterwasser magazine in 1996.

During his worldwide travels

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, Mr. Jones visited Gorontalo during wave season. Ocean conditions are challenging during that time of year. However, he left with a sizeable archive of spectacular photos of Gorontalo’s marine environment.

Photos featured in the sixteenth edition of Heinz Online Magazine include several Salvador Dali sponge shots. Among the macro photos Sarasvati shrimp, Robust ghost pipefish, and cuttlefish. In additional, one photo contains a Coleman’s coral shrimp. It is a new species discovered in Flores and Gorontalo. Dramatic wide-angle shots include red sea whips, Jinn Caves cavern and a deep-water Blue sea fan.  

After enjoying the article, please make your dive reservations with us!

Acanthosphex leurynnis Discovered in Gorontalo

Acanthosphex leurynnis, a rarely seen type of waspfish, recently made an appearance in Gorontalo.

Surprising Find: Acanthosphex leurynnis

Acanthosphex leurynnis grows
A rare Wasp-spine velvetfish lies in the sand

During a great muck dive in February 2018, one of our guests discovered an unusual fish. Initially, Miguel’s Diving staff assumed it was a juvenile Cockatoo waspfish, which is often seen at the Tambo’o Fish House Dive Site. That muck site continues to thrill divers with its variety and density of marine critters.

Fortunately, Wolfgang from Germany took a photo of the fish. Then staff sent the photo to a marine identification community on Facebook. A longtime marine biologist working in Pacific Asia identified the fish for us. It turned out to be a Wasp-spine velvetfish. Its scientific name is Acanthosphex leurynnis. It is the only species in its genus. This fish is so seldom seen that it is missing from even large volume fish books. The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History possesses specimens of Acanthosphex leurynnis from Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan and Australia.

The Wasp-spine velvetfish grows to a maximum of nine centimeters. Its coloration tends to be dark to light mottled brown. Additionally, white patches occur randomly on its body. It has two spines pointing behind its eye and four more behind its chin. Also, the chin has a pair of short tentacles. Given its small size and camouflaged coloration, divers rarely see this singular fish.

Waspfish of the World

Although Acanthosphex leurynnis is not technically a waspfish, it is generally grouped with waspfish species. Worldwide, there are forty species of waspfish. However, because they are secretive and nocturnal, divers rarely seen them. Some waspfish have venomous spines that can cause painful stings. Waspfish eat shrimps and other small invertebrates. Typically

, the tall dorsal fin on the head is the distinguishing characteristic of waspfish.

Waspfish in Gorontalo

Cockatoo waspfish Ablabys taenianotus
A Cockatoo waspfish pretends to be a dead leaf

Besides the unusual sighting of Acanthosphex leurynnis, divers in Gorontalo are most likely to see Cockatoo waspfish (Ablabys taenianotus). This fish has great camouflage and looks like a dead, brown leaf laying in the sand. They are often in pairs. So, careful divers will look for another one if one is already found. Although this waspfish tends to be dull brown, it can have white on its face.

In Gorontalo, divers will only see waspfish at a single dive site, Tambo’o Fish House. A careful diver will check each dead leaf lying on the sand. If spotted, a waspfish will pretend that a slight current is pushing it about and moving it away. The motions are quite clever!

It lives in the western Pacific Ocean, including northern Australia and Japan. Despite what some guidebooks or interet postings claim, it does not live in the Indian Ocean. The waspfish that lives there is a different species, Ablabys binotatus.

Spiny waspfish Ablabys macrancanthus
A Spiny waspfish sketch

Actually, another waspfish lives only in Indonesia and the Philippines. It is the Spiny waspfish (Ablabys macrancanthus). Distinguishing it in the ocean from the Cockatoo waspfish is extremely difficult. According to marine biologists, the spines of the Ablabys macrancanthus protrude from its dorsal fin. Hence its common name Spiny. The guaranteed way to distinguish between the two species is to count dorsal spines. The less common Spiny waspfish has 15 to 16 and the more widespread Cockatoo waspfish has 17 to 18.

Few divers will wish to count waspfish spines! However, for your chance to see a waspfish in Gorontalo

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, please book your dive trip with us.

Sea Hare Mating in Gorontalo

That tumbling mass is really sea hare mating! Imagine the surprise of divers looking for critters at Sand Castle, one of Gorontalo’s muck diving sites. On the sand in shallow water were masses that looked like sea weeds, rocking back and forth in the gentle surge. In fact, there were patches of algae on the sea floor. That added to the confusion. But a closer inspection revealed a rarely witnessed event, sea hare mating.

Slugs Looking Like Rabbits

Sea hares are members an opisthobranch order of sea slugs. More colorful opisthobranchs are famously called nudibranchs. Their sensing organs are called rhinophores. In sea hares, these and their oral tentacles are rolled. Many sea hare species have an internal shell, giving them a pudgy appearance. These characteristics make the slug look like a rabbit, hence the name. Sea hares can grow to enormous sizes and weigh five kilograms or more.

Lined Sea Hares

The sea slugs discovered by guests of Miguel’s Diving in the midst of sea hare mating were not of the large variety. Instead, they were Lined Sea Hares (Stylocheilus striatus).

mating sea hares in Gorontalo
Lined sea hares during mating

Notice the fine dark lines in the photo by Senior Aldo Galante of Buenos Aires. Some light spots are also visible. This color pattern makes for great camouflage. Lined Sea Hares are usually quite small, such as the ones found in Gorontalo that day. But they can grow to up to 65 mm in length. Like other sea hares, Lined ones eat blue-green algae. When disturbed, most sea hares will secret purple ink. This purple secretion actually comes from toxins found in the blue-green algae eaten by sea hares.

Sea Hare Mating Video

To witness sea hare mating is a rare event. Watch the video shot in Gorontalo that day.

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At the beginning of the video

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, there are several still photos. Can you make out the individual sea hares? Notice how the mass of sea hares resembles the clump of algae growing on a nearby rock. Do you see individual sea hares crawling from the upper left screen towards the sea hare mating frenzy? Notice the dark portion inside the body of a sea hare. This is the internal shell.
For your chance to witness a rare marine event, please make a dive booking with us at info@miguelsdiving.com

Whale Shark encounter in Gorontalo

A whale shark encounter was in store for two American divers. On their way to the Togian Islands, they made a last minute decision to make two dives in Gorontalo. That decision made memories to last a lifetime.

World Class Diving in Gorontalo

Whale shark encounter in Gorontalo, Indonesia
A whale shark swims over divers

Sadly, many travelers miss diving in Gorontalo on their way to its more famous neighbors, the Togian Islands, Bunaken Marine Park and Lembeh Straits. But world class diving is easily available here. After touch down at the airport, the ocean is only an hour away. Eight different dive sites are only fifteen minutes from the private dock of Miguel’s Diving. Over 30 named sites are available.

The whale shark encounter captured in the video was at one of those close dive sites. It is named Swirling Steps because of a series of short drops and ledges that push into the current. Staff of Miguel’s Diving have forgotten the number of times we have seen whale sharks at this site. There have been too many over the years! In addition, this site has hard coral below 40 meters, which indicates the vibrant health of Gorontalo reefs. Only in Gorontalo can diver see Salvador Dali sponges with their surreal, carved surfaces.

Whale Shark Encounter Video

[svpVideo v=1]Watch the video shot to see the whale shark passing by. The whale shark enounters in Gorontalo are in a natural environment. They are swimming around looking for schools of small fish. Days with a higher plankton count will also bring in the whale sharks. That is what happened the day this video was shot.

Miguel’s Diving staff tell guests that if a shadow appears overhead, look up! It maybe a whale shark or a manta ray. It seems that the whale sharks are not only curious about divers but also they like the bubbles. They also like the dive boat, which has had numerous whale shark encounters of its own. Perhaps they think it is a long lost relative floating on the surface! A fantastic photo of one is available on our home page. These large pelagics can grow up to 15 meters in length. They can live up to 100 years. Judging by its small size of merely six meters, this one was probably in his early twenties.

For your chance for a whale shark encounter, please make a dive booking with us at http://miguelsdiving.com/contact-us/

Minke Whale breaching in Gorontalo

A Minke Whale Breaches in Gorontalo

On March 27, a Minke Whale breached the perfectly flat sea off Traffic Jam dive site in Gorontalo. Our boat captain watched the 10-meter long whale jump into the air. It hit the water with the belly-flop style characteristic of this whale. The Minke jumped four times and also blew water into the air. Divers that day had already descended. We heard several loud bangs but did not realize a whale was breaching less than 400 meters away. Miguel’s Diving has reported this exciting encounter to the APEX Environmental’s Coral Triangle Oceanic Cetacean Program. We have reported whale sightings to APEX for about ten years.

A breaching Minke Whale
A Minke Whale breaches

The Life of a Minke Whale

Minke Whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) are the smallest type of rorqual whale. Rorquals have numerous, distinct pleats of skin under their chin. These can expand to hold tons of water when the whale opens its mouth to feed. They eat krill, fish and squid. A Minke Whale uses the baleen of its upper mouth to filter food out of the water held in its mouth. They can be found in all oceans and live up to 60 years. A Minke Whale can weigh up to 10 tons. With populations numbering over 500,000 the Minke Whale is not considered to be endangered.

Good News from the International Court of Justice

Four days after Miguel’s Diving staff sighted the breaching Minke Whale

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, whales living in the southern oceans received good news. The International Court of Justice in the Hague sided with Australia in a suite against the Japanese whaling industry. The Court determined that the annual hunt was not for scientific purposes as claimed. The Court ordered a halt to any more whaling in the southern oceans. Japanese demand for eating whale meat has declined drastically over the last decade. According to news.com.au, the meat of more than 2,300 Minke Whales is sitting unsold in freezers in Japan. Whalers had planned to take 1,300 whales annually, despite plunging sales. Minke whales are also hunted in Iceland and Norway.

Everyone here is happy that the Minke Whale we saw will not end up in a freezer! For your chance to dive the blue waters of Gorontalo, please take a look at our dive packages and send an email to info@miguelsdiving.com.

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