Fishing in New Caledonia is pretty exciting. Here a Giant Trevally, Carynx ignobilis, prepares to breakfast in a swarming school of sardines just off the fringing reef at Ilot Ua in New Caledonia's southern lagoon. There were several of these big fish - each about 60 or 70 cm long - patrolling the reef but they tended to hunt by themselves. I saw them from time to time, usually in deeper water, as I swam along the reef admiring the stunning display of corals and the whirling shoals of sardines.
Sardines know all about the fishing habits of the Giant Trevally. When the predator was really about to attack the sardines balled up, then created a "hole" around the Trevally. From the Trevally's viewpoint, it was inside a sphere of mirror images of it's prey and this seemed to confuse the menu.
I think this Trevally came very close to me because the sardines had made a "hole" for me. Since I am not really a sardine predator (except for the canned variety) and because I had been fussing about, minding my own business, setting up and taking a sphere image in the same spot for about 10 minutes, the sardines were milling about without any particular formation.
Perhaps the Trevally thought that this offered a special opportunity. The big fish gave me quite a start. It came from behind me, very close to my head, and surprised the swarm of sardines.
Just after I took this photo, the GT ate on the run vanished into the blue.
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.