REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, WAISAI -- The Raja Ampat District authorities organized a training for dive guides as part of efforts to improve services for tourists visiting the marine tourism destination. The seven-day training, held from June 24, was being participated in by 30 local dive guides, Yusdi Lamatenggo said here on Monday.
The training is also expected to increase the capability of local dive guides. By having professional local dive guides, the economy in Raja Ampat is also hoped to improve.
"We hope that local dive guides attending this training can get benefit and receive better payment later," he said.
Raja Ampat is often called "Heaven on Earth", "Miracle of Papua", "Underwater Paradise on Earth", or "Real Wonder of the World" for its mesmerizing marine panorama. The district has a geopark that is much more beautiful than the one in Halong Bay, Vietnam.
Waiwo Beach at Raja Ampat.
In total, Raja Ampat District has around 1,700 islands, including the unoccupied and most beautiful Isle of Wayag, which is made of karst or limestone from other isles. The waters of Raja Ampat have approximately 603 hard coral species, representing 75 percent of the total coral reefs in the world, according to the information posted on rajaampatlodge.com.
Based on various studies by the world natural conservation agencies, such as Conservation International and Nature Conservancy, Raja Ampat waters are estimated to have 1,397 fish species. The waters of Raja Ampat are also called "Capital for Fish in the World."
There are also 60 varieties of crayfish, 699 types of soft animals or species of mollusks, comprising 530 species of snails (Gastropoda), 159 species of shells (bivalva), two species of Scaphopoda, five species of squid (Cephalopoda), and three Chiton species.