Published: Thu, March 16, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

British Cruise Ship Destroys Indonesian Reef

British Cruise Ship Destroys Indonesian Reef

They added it was "impossible to fix parts of the reefs that have been damaged or destroyed".

Raja Ampat in eastern Indonesia is one of the most biodiverse marine habitats on Earth, and attracts intrepid travellers and divers to its palm-fringed islands surrounded by coral and fish.

The cruise ship, which is owned by British company Noble Caledonia, ran aground during low tide when it veered slightly off course during a bird-watching trip on Waigeo Island earlier this month.

Indonesia's government said Tuesday it will take strong action after a cruise ship destroyed coral reefs in a popular tourist area known for its extensive marine biodiversity.

Mr Tapilatu said: 'A tugboat from Sorong city was deployed to help refloat the cruise ship, which is something that shouldn't have happened because it damaged the reef even worse. The accident damaged some 13,500 square meters of coral reefs, which could cost over € 15 million, according to Ricardo Tapilatu, an oceanographic researcher at the University of Papua, who led a team that assessed the Damage.

The company is "firmly committed to protection of the environment - which is why it is imperative that the reasons for it are fully investigated, understood and any lessons learned incorporated in operating procedures", he said. "They should've waited for high tide". "Was a 12 year old at the wheel?" a horrified owner of a local homestay wrote on Facebook.

A spokesperson from Noble Caledonia said that it was "an unfortunate incident".

The vessel set sail from Papua New Guinea Feb. 25 and is scheduled to arrive in Manila next week.

On the other hand, the Minister for Maritime Affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said that the opportunity to demand compensation to the British company is open, and they are working with environmental organizations to prepare all the evidence that could take part in the legal process.

"The damage caused by boat anchors like this one is already serious enough, but the blockage of a liner in the reefs reaches a level never equaled", said the site.

Raja Amat means Four Kingdoms in Indonesian and sits between the Pacific and Indian oceans.

Indonesia's government is assessing the damage to the Kri Island reef, with plans to seek compensation from the cruise company.

A 2002 report from Conservation International said it was home to almost 1,400 varieties of fish and 603 species of coral.

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