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Bangka Island declares new Marine Protected Areas in North Sulawesi

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One of the highlights of diving with Murex Dive Resorts in North Sulawesi is their stunning House Reefs. Whether you choose to stay at Murex Manado for diving in Manado Bay and the Bunaken Marine Park, Murex Bangka or discover Sulawesi’s top three locations with a Passport to Paradise (Bunaken -> Bangka -> Lembeh) you’ll have a phenomenal dive site just a step off the beach.

Murex Bangka – Beach Front Cottages.

Murex Bangka House Reef is a colorful sloping reef which is home to a plethora of marine species. As you enter the crystal clear waters from Murex Bangka’s white sand beach you’ll be immediately captivated by the shallow reef top, bommies and fields of staghorn corals which attract schools of colorful damselfish. As you venture further from the shore you’ll find the impressive sloping reef which boasts sea fans, hard coral bommies, and kaleidoscopic soft corals.

Bangka House Reef. Photo: Alex Harnisch.

The House Reef is packed with unique critters including pygmy seahorses, frogfish, stingrays, mantis shrimps, octopus, cuttlefish and a host of tropical reef fishes. Remember to keep an eye out to the blue to catch a glimpse of schooling fusiliers and passing pelagics including eagle rays, tuna, barracuda and trevally. With such a diversity of marine life inhabiting the House Reef, the local village of Lihunu were keen to protect this phenomenal site.

The local community of Lihunu village on Bangka Island understand the importance of protecting shallow reefs as both spawning areas and nurseries for juvenile fish. Earlier this year the village decreed that 35% of the shoreline in front of Lihunu village be declared a Marine Protected Area at official village level and they extended the decree to include Murex Bangka’s House Reef. The Decree was also sanctioned by the Marine and Ocean Office of North Minahasa.

Murex Bangka House Reef Protected Area.

In order to support this incredible village initiative, Murex Dive Resorts have contributed to the project by supplying the buoys and ropes which now demarcate the protected areas in front of Lihunu Village and Murex Bangka. Both protected areas are now no-fishing areas.

Diving and snorkeling continues on Murex’s House Reef and Murex are excited to see the impact that this new protection has on marine life. In the near future Murex plans to carry out coral monitoring in partnership with Ocean Gardener in order to track changes on the reef. To ensure that the Marine Protection is enforced, any fishing boats entering either protected area will be reported to the village. Lihunu village will continue to work with the local government and enforce the protection while Murex Dive Resorts will take responsibility for maintaining the boundaries of both zones.

Bangka boat trip.

Lihunu Village has also taken part in Ocean Gardener community training organized by the conservation aware Murex team to learn more about corals and coral farming. This latest development on Bangka Island is one which shows community commitment to reef protection and sustainable fishing in North Sulawesi.

Divers who would like to know more about corals, their importance to diving environments and reef systems, and how to identify different species, are encouraged to take part in an Ocean Gardener course during their stay at Murex Bangka.

Bird’s eye view of Bangka.

Are you planning your next trip to North Sulawesi? Murex Dive Resorts are the pioneers of diving in this spectacular region, are environmentally aware and offer comfortable accommodation in friendly and professional sea front resorts.


For more information or to make a reservation, contact Murex Dive Resorts on reservations@MurexDive.com or view their website: www.MurexDive.com

Sarah Ann Wormald is a writer and PADI Master Instructor with a passion for underwater photography and conservation. Sarah is the author of “Diving in Indonesia” and “Diving in South East Asia” (Tuttle Publishing). With over 20 years of diving experience, Sarah has dived all over the Indonesian Archipelago and South East Asia. Find out more at www.MurexDive.com.

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Nauticam announce NA-A7C Housing for Sony a7C Camera

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Sony’s latest full frame mirrorless camera, the a7C offers the underwater image maker one of the most compact and travel friendly full frame systems available on the market today.  The a7C features Sony’s latest stellar autofocus and a much improved battery life thanks to its use of the larger Z series battery. The BIONZ X processor delivers superb low-light performance and faster image processing. For video shooters, the a7C features internal UHD 4K capture in the wide-dynamic range HLG image profile at up to 30p.

Nauticam has housed more mirrorless cameras, and more Sony E Mount cameras than any other housing manufacturer. This experience results in the most evolved housing line with broadest range of accessories available today.

Pioneering optical accessories elevate performance to a new level. Magnifying viewfinders, the sharpest super macro accessory lenses ever made, and now the highest quality water contact wide angle lenses (the WWL-1B and WACP-1) combine with the NA-A7C housing to form a complete imaging system.

Nauticam is known for ergonomics, and an unmatched experience. Key controls are placed at the photographer’s fingertips. The housing and accessories are light weight, and easy to assemble. The camera drops in without any control presetting, and lens port changes are effortless.

NA-A7C features an integrated handle system. This ergonomic style provides exceptional control access, even with thick gloves, with ideal placement of the shutter release and a thumb-lever to actuate the AF-ON button from the right handle.

Nauticam build quality is well known by underwater photographers around the globe. The housing is machined from a solid block of aluminum, then hard anodized making it impervious to salt water corrosion. Marine grade stainless and plastic parts complete the housing, and it is backed by a two year warranty against manufacturing defects.

For more information in the UK visit the Nauticam website by clicking here.

For more information in the USA visit the Nauticam website by clicking here.

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Blogs

BLUE EARTH – Future Frogmen Podcast Series – The Next Generation of Ocean Stewards: Lauren Brideau

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A series of conservation educational podcasts from Future Frogmen, introduced by Jeff Goodman.

The Next Generation of Ocean Stewards: Lauren Brideau

We have a new host, Dr. Colleen Bielitz, and today we’ll be interviewing a recent college graduate as part of our once-a-month episode that focuses on students: the next generation of conservationists, researchers, and activists.

What are the next generation of ocean stewards doing to protect our Blue Earth? Join us as we find out by speaking to Lauren Brideau, a recent graduate of Southern Connecticut State University. Lauren started as an undeclared major but soon found her calling, now she is part of a research team conserving life below water.  She is a prime example that if you want to defend our oceans and the creatures that depend on the sea to survive, now is the time to become part of the solution.


Richard E Hyman Bio

Richard is the Chairman and President of Future Frogmen.

Born from mentoring and love of the ocean, Richard is developing an impactful non-profit organization. His memoir, FROGMEN, details expeditions aboard Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s famed ship Calypso.

Future Frogmen, Inc. is a nonprofit organization and public charity that works to improve ocean health by deepening the connection between people and nature. They foster ocean ambassadors and future leaders to protect the ocean by accomplishing five objectives.


You can find more episodes and information at www.futurefrogmen.org and on most social platforms @futurefrogmen.

 

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