Bunaken National Park Reef Survey

In June/July 2003, Dr. Lyndon DeVantier and Dr. Emre Turak Have done a coral research in Bunaken National Park. Briefly, their findings were as follows : In approximately 10 days of diving, they counted ~380 species of hard coral, representing 63 genera and 16 families. They believe that if they had another 2 weeks, this number would probably even out at around 410-420 species. This is a very large number indeed, and very much verifies our position in the center of marine biodiversity. The most outstanding features they noted in Bunaken were the following :

1) Exceptional within-site richness. The average number of coral species they would count in a single dive was over 100 species. THe maximum number of species they counted on one dive was 221 species on East Mantehage – THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF SPECIES IN A SINGLE DIVE THEY HAVE RECORDED ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD! The extremely high richness at all sites suggests that the reefs here are very well connected genetically, which is an important thing for recovery after bleaching or other localized damage.

2) Excellent coral health overall. Of all the areas within the coral triangle that they have done these surveys (including – Raja Ampat, Wakatobi, Banda, East Kimbe Bay PNB, Milne Bay PNG, Northern Great Barrier Reef, Sangihe-Talaud and others), Bunaken had the highest average live hard coral cover at 41%. This is something to be proud of, and reflects the hard work of a lot of people, especially those involved with the patrols.

3) Full genetic expression of the range of life forms that each individual coral species can adopt. In their words, the range of life forms seen around Bunaken was unrivaled, making this area a coral biologist’s dream, not to mention sport divers and snorkelers! Given the above 3 factors and the oceanography of the area, they felt that Bunaken was among the most resilient coral reef areas in the world – an excellent choice for the siting of a marine park. And an excellent choice to experience it with Lumbalumba Diving!


Dive resort in Manado with diving in Bunaken North Sulawesi Indonesia

Coral survey

Dive resort in Manado with diving in Bunaken North Sulawesi Indonesia

Coral survey










Sustainable fishing

List of local food fishes acceptable for consumption

Justification: Though highly prized for their excellent taste, coral reef-associated fish species have been shown time and again worldwide to be extremely vulnerable to over fishing. As reef-friendly dive operators, whose very livelihood depends on the health and diversity of the reefs of North Sulawesi, it is in the best interest of the NSWA to avoid over exploitation of coral reef fisheries in this area. While outlawing blast-fishing, cyanide fishing and spear fishing are excellent measures towards this end, even the traditional hook and line fishery has the capacity to greatly diminish coral reef fishes. We can make further strides towards limiting the effects of this fishery by simply choosing to serve/order non-reef fish species in our restaurants.

While this choice can have undesired effects on local fishermen in other areas (not to mention severely limiting food choices!), North Sulawesi is fortunate in having extensive pelagic (open-water) fisheries that can easily supply restaurants with high-quality, non-reef bound fish. Typical targets for these fisheries include tuna, mackerel, scads, mahi-mahi, jacks and others. The advantages of serving only these non-reef fishes are numerous, including:

 1) Pressures on coral reef fish stocks will be reduced. This is very important for dive site quality, as many beginning/intermediate divers will judge a dive solely upon the number of big or colorful fish they see. Sedentary (non-mobile) top predators like groupers and Napoleon wrasse are EXTREMELY vulnerable to over fishing, if not local extirpation, while at the same time being popular attractions for divers. Choosing not to serve these animals on the dinner plate allows many more people to enjoy these long-lived fish for years to come.

 2) In a related issue, choosing pelagic fish species ensures that dive operators are not encouraging destructive fishing practices such as dynamite and cyanide fishing and spear fishing, as these activities focus exclusively on coral reef fisheries.

 3) Local fishing communities will actually benefit from this switch in food choices; the majority of local fishermen fish pelagic species, and would be happy to sell their catch to local dive operators. This may help improve relationships between dive operators and local communities, who currently believe that they are “missing out” on the cash flow from dive tourism.

 4) Worldwide, pelagic fish are generally considered better tasting and healthier than coral reef fish species. Pelagic fish such as yellow fin tuna and dolphin fish (mahi-mahi) are among the most expensive fish in many restaurants worldwide, and both species are very available here in Manado. Furthermore, serving pelagic fish offers two new food dish opportunities – sashimi (raw pelagic fish) and smoked tuna, a local delicacy. Sashimi is only prepared from the freshest of fish, while smoked tuna can last days without refrigeration. Finally, the possibilities of ciguatera and/or cyanide poisoning from reef-related species are eliminated by serving pelagic fish only.

 5) Serving pelagic fishes has two further advantages over coral reef fish species. First, pelagic fishes, because of their high fecundity and growth rates, are generally considered much more resilient to over fishing than coral fishes – especially if they are captured by “traditional” techniques. Related to this, the generally higher abundances of pelagic fishes ensure that their price in the market place is often lower than coral reef fishes. By serving pelagic fish, not only can we feel better about our effects on fisheries, we can SAVE MONEY!!

 6) While many tourists reportedly request reef species such as grouper, a little education as to the plight of groupers worldwide will generally turn them from grouper consumers to grouper conservationists in a hurry. Other fisheries targets which have special conservation needs include spiny lobster (Panulirus species) and sharks. ALL of these groups are well on their way to extinction in Indonesia (and worldwide) due to extensive exploitation for specialized export markets and we should avoid serving them AT ALL COSTS!!!

This list was put together with the help of Dr. Mark Erdmann. “Mark, as always, many thanks!”


Sustainable fishing Dive resort in Manado with diving in Bunaken North Sulawesi Indonesia

Sustainable fishing

sustainable fishing Dive resort in Manado with diving in Bunaken North Sulawesi Indonesia

Sustainable fishing















 Common English name   Scientific name             Local North Sulawesi name (Indonesian)

 Skipjack tuna                             Katsuwonus palamis                 Cakalang

Eastern Little tuna                    Euthynnus affinis                        Tongkol, Deho

Yellowfin tuna                           Thunnus albacares                      Madidihan

Wahoo                                         Acantocybium solandri              Tarusi

Spanish mackerel                     Scomberomorus commerson     Tenggiri, Kambing

Other mackerels, scad             Family Scombridae                      Malalugis, Kalangitu, Oci, Tude

Dolphinfish (mahi-mahi)       Coryphaena hippurus                 Lamadan

Rainbow runners                      Elagatis bipinnulata                   Mangananu

Anchovies, silversides              Atherinidae, Clupeidae               Ikan putih, Teri             




Groupers, coral trout                  Family Serranidae                      Garopa (Sunu, Kerapu)

Napoleon wrasse                         Cheilinus undulatus                    Maming

Reef sharks                                   Family Carcharinidae                 Gurango (Hiu)

Sweetlips                                       Family Haemulidae                     Gurara

Spiny lobster (honorary fish)    Panulirus sp.                                Udang karang, Lobster






Parrotfish                              Family Scaridae                        Boki (Kakatua)

Snappers                               Family Lutjanidae                     Tambako, Pongohi (Kakap)

Rabbitfish                              Family Siganidae                       Uhi (Baronang)

Fusiliers                                 Family Caesionidae                    Lolosi, Kulit pasir

Barracuda                              Family Sphyraenidae                 Puparo (Barakuda)

Emperors                               Family Lethrinidae                     Untus

Surgeonfishes                        Family Acanthuridae                 Gutana, RajaBau

Squirrelfish                            Family Holocentridae                Gora

Goatfish                                  Family Mullidae                          Teo

Crocodile Needlefish            Family Bel onidae                       Susugi, Longtom

Jacks, trevallies                      Family Carangidae                   Bubaro


Wastewater gardens in Manado

In our resort and we have build several so-called Wastewater Gardens (WWG’s):
We have build them to clean our waste water because it is an extremely simple and ECO-friendly way of cleaning waste water.

This is briefly how they work:

Before the waste water comes in contact with ground water it goes through a 
large, solid and closed septic tank. From there it enters the WWG, which is basically a waterproof tank, filled with gravel and a variety of plants. An ingenious pipe system leads the waste water through the cell where the biological processes of plants and mircrobes, in combination of sunlight and gravity, purify the waste water.

Due to the high nutrient supply, the Wastewater gardens quickly start flourishing and become lush, attractive gardens and eco systems, on their own in the landscape. There are no bad odors and there is no mosquito breeding.

This way of wastewater treatment has been proven to be far more effective and long-lasting than conventional sewage treatment. Particularly in tropical zones.

Wastewater treatment is not a difficult problem to solve in a responsible way and we hope sincerely that others will follow soon..


Dive resort in Manado with diving in Bunaken North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Wastewater garden flourishing

Dive resort in Manado with diving in Bunaken North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Wastewater garden start-up

Dive resort in Manado with diving in Bunaken North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Wastewater garden principle