Underwater Friends

New Caledonia, April/May 2022

The lagoon of New Caledonia is exceptional and unique in many ways. With a size of 24,000 km2, this vast lagoon is the biggest in the world. Its amazing reef system surrounds the lagoon with a 1,600 km long coral reef, the second longest barrier reef on the planet. 

When adding the barrier reef, the total lagoon/reef area represents almost 40,000 km2. Despite their size, the thriving reefs of New Caledonia remain relatively unexplored. The overall marine biodiversity of New Caledonia is estimated at 15,000 species, although certain zones still remain fairly unknown.

Filled with natural beauty, containing diverse coral reefs and small coral islands, this intact ecosystem is home to a very wide range of marine life. Each time we get underwater we make new aquatic friends. Overwhelmed by the great variety of life in all forms and sizes, it almost is hard to know where to look as new stories reveal in every corner. 

In this blogpost I´d like to share a few pictures of some of our numerous underwater friends, living in this astonishing lagoon :-)

New Caledonian sea krait (Laticauda saintgironsi)

Pink whipray (Pateobatis fai) 

Goldspot seabream (Gnathodentex aurolineatus)
Bluelined snapper (Lutjanus kasmira) 

Longhorn cowfish (Lactoria cornuta) 

Zebra shark/Leopard shark  (Stegostoma fasciatum)

Small Giant Clam (Tridacna maxima)

Turtle-headed sea snake (Emydocephalus annulatus)

Shrimpfish/Razorfish (Aeoliscus strigatus)

Blue-green chromis (Chromis viridis)

Whitetip reef shark (Triaenodon obesus)

Red lionfish (Pterois volitans)

Bigfin reef squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana)

Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) 

Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas)

Tawny nurse shark (Nebrius ferrugineus)

Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta)