Cenderawasih Bay along with Raja Ampat and Triton Bay, make’s up the Bird’s Head Seascape of West Papua. The bay was geologically isolated until recently, and because of this isolation, it contains a number of very colorful endemic species.
Many normally deep-dwelling fish species are found here in relatively shallow water which, along with the presence of the world’s largest fish – the whale shark, prompted Dr. Gerry Allen to call Cenderawasih ‘the Galapagos of Indonesia’s Reefs’.
Although there is plenty to see in Cenderawasih Bay, the highlight of any trip to Cenderawasih is the whale shark experience. The bay’s resident whale sharks have learned that the bagans which are floating fishing platforms, throw their dead fish overboard. This is a bonanza of protein enrichment for the normally plankton-eating sharks. The bagan fishermen encourage whale shark visits because the enormous fish are considered good luck, and the whale sharks in turn swim around close to the surface, seemingly oblivious to the presence of snorkelers and divers.