The Raja Ampat area of Northwest Papua (the second largest island in the world) is filled with islands, surrounded by reefs and inundated with fish!
Most of the areas reefs are pristine, with mile after mile of perfect hard corals, drift after drift of Dendronephya (soft) corals of many species and colors ranging from brilliant red, to shocking yellow pretty pink and exotic purple. Most reef dives are very colorful.
Among, above, and on top of the corals are fish. Schooling fish, solitary fish, beautiful fish, ugly fish, large fish, small fish! Some fish that are considered to be rare in many parts of the world are abundant in the Raja Ampat area. Wobbegong Sharks are found on many dives, often lying atop perfect table corals like a fish carefully arranged by a chef on a dinner plate. The Epaulette Shark, a small shark only a foot long, is numerous and found very often on night dives in the seagrass or even on the shelf of a wall dive. Giant Clams are found at many. These clams are large enough to swallow a child, but are embedded in the reef and covered with soft corals, tunicates and sponges so thick they can barely close their shells.
The offshore reef sites, especially those near Kri Island are poplulated with MEGATONS of schooling fish! The most common to see are barracuda, jacks, bannerfish, surgeonfish, fusiliers, parrotfish and snappers. All in many species. The fish are so dense that they sometimes block the view of your dive buddy or the surface!