Raja Ampat Coral Reef Threatened by Massive Tourism

JAKARTA - Panorama underwater natural beauty of Raja Ampat in West Papua is well known almost throughout the world so there is little domestic tourists and foreign tourists wishing to visit Indonesia's flagship attraction.

According to records there are at least 537 species of coral and 699 invertebrates that travelers may encounter at that location. Even many of those who claim the Raja Ampat Islands have a lot of species diversity most of all islands in the world. Some species of endangered marine life that has never found by scientists, in fact you can come across in Raja Ampat.

But the beauty of the underwater world was suddenly broken and became extinct after a cruise ship MV Caledonian Sky while doing a cruise with carrying tourists crashed to destroy coral reefs.

Of course it is very damaging Indonesia who is currently keen to attract as many foreign tourists as possible in view of Raja Ampat is one of the mainstays of the premier tourist destination.

Unmitigated Indonesian Government established a joint team consisting of various ministries and agencies, namely the Ministry for maritime, Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, the Attorney General and Police and local government-related damage to coral reefs in the Radja Ampat by MV Caledonian Sky.

There are three basic tasks of the task force, which handles the legal aspects, both civil and criminal, including mutual legal assistance and extradition if necessary. Secondly, the team is also responsible for calculating the environmental damage caused by the shipwreck of the vessel MV Caledonian Sky, safety of navigation and other related matters.

The government is prepared to take all means to be the owner of the MV Caledonian Sky willing to take responsibility. "We are ready to take all necessary measures so that people are not harmed and environmental damage caused by MV Caledonian Sky will be solved soon," said Deputy Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Sovereignty maritime Arif Havas Oegroseno.

Chronological destruction of coral reefs in Raja Ampat beginning of the entry of a cruise ship, MV Caledonian Sky which has a weight of 4,200 GT, on March 3, 2017. The Bahamas-flagged vessel was skippered by Captain Keith Michael Taylor. The vessel used to carry 102 tourists and 79 crew (ABK).

After circling the island to observe the diversity of birds and enjoy art performances, the passengers back to the ship on the afternoon of March 4, 2017. The yacht was then traveled to Bitung at 12:41 CEST.

On the way up Bitung, MV Caledonian Sky ran aground on a set of coral reefs in Raja Ampat. To overcome this Captain Keith Michael Taylor refer to the instructions of GPS and radar without considering factors waves and other natural conditions.

When the ship ran aground, a tugboat (tug boat) by the name of Tanjung Priok TB Audreyrob arrived on the scene to remove the cruise ship. But these efforts initially unsuccessful because the vessel MV Caledonian Sky too heavy.

Captain continually strive to run the ship Caledonian Sky to finally set sail at 23:15 pm CDT on March 4, 2017.

The stranded ship Caledonian Sky impact damage to coral reefs were outstanding.

Initial investigations conducted by local authorities showed that coral reefs are damaged area reached 1,600 square meters.

Worse, coral reefs damaged by ship MV Caledonian Sky was located right in the heart of Raja Ampat, a center of marine biodiversity.

Coral reefs that grow hundreds of years was marred by MV Caledonian Sky in less than a day. Impossible to repair or mengonservasi back part reefs have been damaged and dead. Ironically, hundreds of fish that normally surrounds the site also disappeared.

The exact number of damaged coral reef area, be evaluated yet fully completed. It could be more than 1,600 square meters.

Regardless of the effect on the natural resources, Captain Keith Michael Taylor continued his journey to Bitung and has now docked in the Philippines. Apparently, Captain Keith Michael Taylor cede the issue of compensation of the damage to the insurance company.

Under Law 32/2009 on the Protection and Management of the Environment, the destruction of natural resources such as coral reefs, peatlands and forests is a criminal act of which the penalty is imprisonment. Therefore, although insurance companies are willing to pay for damage to the environment, but it can not eliminate the criminal aspect.

When you view from the usual tourist destinations targeted by the vessel MV Caledonian Sky, GOI sure, for the sake of global environmental concerns, shipowners, ship's captain and the insurance company will be responsible for it.

In addition, the government also hopes that the international environmentalists are willing to speak out represent the Raja Ampat coral reefs damaged by ship Caledonian Sky and captain Keith Michael Taylor.

Of course, this incident becomes a valuable lesson that even though Raja Ampat increasingly popular to be visited by tourists mancenagara using cruise ships, but caution and alert needs to be taken that the natural beauty no longer suffered severe damage. (antara)
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