COELACANTH EXPEDITION INDONESIA
The Coelacanth is a prehistoric creature that thrived in the oceans over 400 million years ago. Thought to be long extinct until rediscovered alive in 1938.
A deep water living ‘Dino-Fish’ that’s lives in waters between 90-150m, it has been found in only two areas of the world, Bunaken Island being one of these areas.
Imagine yourself part of a team to find and dive with this amazing fish – the Coelacanth!
Blue Label Diving in Bunaken Indonesia can organize expeditions to discover the Coelacanth to depths of 150 meters on CCR trimix dives. Even if you would like to go on Open Circuit we can serve your needs. The walls outside of Bunaken go to depths of 3000 meters.
COELACANTH FACT SHEET
1938 – 2011
This is the astounding coelacanth (“see-la-kanth”), the fusion of life and time, that following a supposed extinction of 65 million years, head-lined into human consciousness with its discovery alive in 1938. Called “Old Four Legs” and the “Living Fossil,” the Coelacanth quickly became the continuing obsessive focus of journalists, crypto biologists, scientists, eccentric explorers, aquariums, and divers.
1938: The Coelacanth is “discovered” off South Africa.
In 1938, thirty two-year-old Marjorie Courtenay Latimer was the curator of a tiny museum in the port town of East London, northeast of Cape Town, South Africa. On December 23rd, 1938, the Nerine entered port after a stint trawling off the mouth of the nearby Chalumna River. The dockman called Marjorie and according to her account, she noticed a blue fin protruding beneath a pile of rays and sharks on the deck. She would later write: “the most beautiful fish I had ever seen, five feet long, and a pale mauve blue with iridescent silver markings.” Marjorie had no idea what the fish was, but knew it must go back to the museum at once. The name of her Coelacanth would later be named ‘Latimeria Chalumnae’ after Marjorie and the location where the Coelacanth was caught.
1952: Coelacanths “discovered” to inhabit the Comoro Islands
JLB Smith identified the fish immediately as a coelacanth when he eventually met Marjorie and inspected her amazing discovery, ’That is a member of what must be a still living coelacanth species’ Smith said. The fish would soon be called the “most important zoological find of the century”.
On December 21, 1952, fourteen years after the discovery of the first living coelacanth, Captain Hunt, returning to the port of Mutsamudu on the Comorian island of Anjouan, was approached by two Comorans carrying a hefty bundle. One, Ahamadi Abdallah, had caught by hand-line what the locals called a “mame” or “Gombessa”, a heavy grouper-like fish that turned up on their lines from time to time. Already aware of the scientific importance of the internal organs, Hunt injected preservatives into the specimen, then cabled JLB Smith in South Africa.
1987: First films made of coelacanths at natural depth.
Dr. Hans Fricke, of the Max-Planck Institute: ethologist, filmmaker, and leader of the Jago Dive Team. Beginning in 1986-7 with the submersible “Geo,” the Fricke team made the first films of coelacanths swimming at their natural depth. These films were followed by behavioral observations, biological studies, and population counts through November 2000. The team has currently been diving off of Sodwana, South Africa.
1997: Coelacanths “discovered” in Indonesia.
A new population has been identified (1998) by at least two specimens caught off of North Sulawesi, Indonesia (And two others filmmed in 1999). In 1998 a second
specimen was brought live to Dr. Erdmann. An attempt was made to keep the fish alive by dragging it through the water. This effort failed, however, this second specimen confirmed the find and led to the press release of September 24th, 1998, and subsequent world wide attention!
2000: Coelacanths living in South African waters.
1995 – 2003: Coelacanths discovered living off Madagascar, Kenya and Zanzibar
2009: Japanese locate and film first juvenile in natural habitat. (Indonesia)
In Bunaken, one of Blue Label Diving locations in Indonesia we do Coelacanth expeditions on Trimix Rebreathers. Only Indonesian fisherman have seen these amazing creatures in their fishing nets but no one actually saw them in their natural Habitat. But……You might be the first to ever see them! These creatures live approximately at 155 meters and diving with anything else than Hypoxic Trimix is not possible.
Contact us for more information about our expeditions to the depths and the home of the COELACANTH