[Coral-List] Introducing Coral Reef Research @ eco resort north of Jakarta, Indonesia

Michael Risk riskmj at univmail.cis.mcmaster.ca
Wed Jun 17 08:59:16 EDT 2009

Hello Roderick, listers.

Your enthusiasm for your reefs is to be admired. It is true, there are
some very nice reefs up there in Pulau Seribu.

On the other hand, I would not wish listers to bear away the impression
that the moribund fingers of Jakarta had not reached you. What you are
seeing on your house reefs is a manifestation of the Janus Effect,
described by Edinger perhaps a decade ago. Under increasing nutrient
stress, reefs in fact begin to grow more rapidly-but at the same time
bioerosion increases, as does incidence of disease...in an
all-too-short time, the reef declines. Don't forget that Tom Tomascik
described the disappearance of entire islands up your way, from the
impacts of pollution...

The voyage north from Jakarta into the islands may be read as a trip up
from the Archaen to the Recent-or backwards in time, from the future to
the present.

The Inner harbour of Jakarta is much beloved by yachties. The water
there is sooooo bad that they need only moor their boats there for a
week or so, and all life, all fouling, drops off. Then, proceeding
north, cyanobacterial films cover everything. (We have gone from,
figuratively, the earliest days of the planet to the mid-Archean.)

Next, one encounters boulders covered with Cliona
orientalis(viridis/caribbaea/whatever), which would be the early
Proterozoic...on careful examination, these boulders are seen to be
dead heads of Porites. After a few more km, patches of live coral
appear on the boulders, fish are seen...and then one gradually moves
into reefs that appear healthy.

It is sobering indeed to read this as a picture of where all this
nutrient excess will bring us...


On Fri, 12 Jun 2009 13:22:10 -0700 (PDT)
 United Adventures <unitedadventures at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Warm greetings from Tiger Island Village & Eco Resort :~) 
> We are a small set of islands in the 'thousand island' region about
> 45 nautical miles north of Jakarta, Indonesia (the capital and a city
> of 12 million or so). Surprisingly, many reefs are in good condition
> here.  Our house reef is better, some say, than anything they've seen
> in the Maldives or even in Hawaii.  And yet we're only 1.5 hrs by
> speed boat from one of the largest and most polluted cities in the
> world.  The diversity in our waters is amazing.  Every time I
> snorkel, and it's been hundreds of times, I see a new species.  
> The focus of our 'eco' resort has multiple objectives (see:
> www.pulaumacan.com), one of which is studying the health and growth
> possibilities of coral reefs.  We have installed a Biorock project,
> and a control with an un-electrified biorock structure.  We are also
> deploying a local technology, which simply involves using dead coral
> blocks to plant small branches of live coral with a cement and a salt
> adhesive.  
> We would wholeheartedly welcome coral researches to join us in our
> endeavor to examine the health of our reefs and help us formulate our
> scientific programs for middle, highschool, and university students. 
> We currently collaborate with some of the best middle and highschool
> institutions in the country and have a serious commitment to
> restoring health, productivity, and biodiversity to the reefs in our
> region and around the archipelago.  
> One of the interesting questions to consider is how these reefs
> survive so well in waters that are exposed to one of the most
> polluted cities in the world, and in waters that can get as warm as
> bath water.  
> We are looking forward to collaborating with you, and thank the
> founders of this forum for creating such a service.  Please contact
> me at unitedadventures at yahoo.com and know that we are very interested
> in coral reef research projects at our little paradise and would
> wholeheartedly welcome researchers and coral reef enthusiasts to
> collaborate with us. 
> Warm regards, 
> Roderick des Tombe
> Pulau Macan ~ Tiger Islands Village & Eco Resort
> United Adventures ~ Eco Adventure Travel around Indonesia
> unitedadventures at yahoo.com
> Tel/Fax: +62 21 765 8010
> Mobile:  +62 818 0880 0008
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Mike Risk
Marine Ecologist
PO Box 1195
Durham Ontario
N0G 1R0

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