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New Caledonia coral reef reserve
Nouméa

The coral reefs surrounding Ilot Maitre are part of a marine reserve. Located close to l'Escapade Island Resort, this coral reef is visited by thousands of divers and snorkelers every year. The fish population and the corals are in excellent condition. The reef is a splendid example of coral reef symbiosis - the myriad creatures providing mutual benefits for the benefit of the total ecosystem.

Photosynthetic zooxanthellae live in the coral tissues and nourish the corals  with oxygen and carbohydrates. The zooxanthellae pigments give the corals their brilliant colours.

The corals provide the zooxanthellae with a protected living space exposed to sunlight, and supply them with carbon dioxide and phosphate and nitrate fertilizers.

The corals get the phosphates and nitrates by catching tiny plants and animals from the sea water and from fish droppings that rain down on the corals from the schools of fish that hover in and above the protective branches of the corals. If you look down at the tan coral nearly under the camera you can see two fish faecal pellets lying on the coral surface. The coral will consume the pellets in a few hours and spread the nutrients throughout the coral colony.

The symbiosis is now extended to another level. By declaration of the Government of New Caledonia many of the coral reefs in the world's largest lagoon are protected against fishing, collecting, and anchoring. In exchange, the people of New Caledonia benefit commercially by creating a recreation and tourism industry built on the foundation of our collective desire to hover over a living coral reef and be astonished by its complex beauty.

Copyright: Richard Chesher
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 8648x4324
Taken: 30/11/2009
Chargée: 01/12/2009
Mis à jour: 06/01/2019
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Tags: marine reserve new caledonia; coral reef; new caledonia; coral reef lagoon; world heritage site; diving new caledonia; underwater; diving; snorkeling; dive
More About Nouméa

Nouméa est la capital, et le centre de la Nouvelle Calédonie, comme pour le commerce et le tourisme. Une petite ville qui devient très vite une grande ville avec 91,000 habitants, Mélanésiens, Européens, Polynésiens, Vietnamiens, Chinois, Japonais, et la langue et la culture française. 60% de la population de la Nouvelle Calédonie habite le grand Nouméa.La ville de Nouméa est située dans le sud-ouest de Grande Terre avec un des meilleurs ports naturel du Pacifique Sud. Les baies de l'Anse Vata et Baie des Citrons avec leurs plages de sable blanc sont le centre touristique de Nouméa, avec hôtels, restaurants et bars. Il y a 23 hôtels dans Nouméa d'une étoile au 5 étoiles, et plus d'une centaines de restaurants.


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