Huge mangrove crabs, Sylla serrata, reaching over 25-cm in shell width, live in the mud below the long roots of the mangroves at the mouth of the Riviere des Kaoris in Prony, New Caledonia.
This is one of the few areas in the world where the water in a mangrove estuary is clear - but colored slightly by the tannins from the mangroves.
Mangroves are vital components of the lagoon ecosystem, acting as a nursery for many important species of fish and invertebrates and as a filter/barrier that traps sediment and prevents it from polluting the lagoon, while also protecting the land from erosion.
For information on the anchorages of New Caledonia visit the cruising guide to New Caledonia
New Caledonia is the closest South Pacific Island to Australia and New Zealand. It is a French Territory and although the official language is French the culture is a blend of Melanesian, European, Polynesian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indonesian, and more. There is one large mountainous island called Grande Terre and 6 smaller islands - the three Loyalty Islands, Belep and the Isle of Pines.The islands are remarkably unpopulated and there are vast areas of wilderness. There are hundreds of kilometers of walking treks, camp grounds, more than 42 parks and reserves, and crystal clear rivers with sparkling waterfalls. Almost one third of the population is located in the capital city of Noumea. Nickel mining is the primary industry and is the major contributor to the high standard of living in the country. Grande Terre is surrounded by the second largest barrier reef in the world and the protected lagoon created by this barrier reef is the largest in the world. Listed as a World Heritage Site in 2008, the lagoon is 24,000 square kilometers and supports a diverse and luxuriant fauna of fish and invertebrates.The vibrant, clear and rich colors are one of the first things that visitors notice when they arrive. Noumea has a complete range of hotels, resorts, restaurants, and activities to welcome visitors.