Komodo National park dive/site 24: “Police Corner” (named after a fallen police officer who drowned rescuing people; 2019-1-25)
Dive site notes: This was one of the best dives of the trip. Descended onto some of the nicest corals in the park. Fluorescent green Seriatopora caliendrum (SC). Then went on to 30 m along near-vertical wall. 20-m viz at beginning of dive (amongst best of trip), 25ºC, cold, and dark. Less hard corals at depth. Swam through a series of cool overhangs. Some large, coral-encrusted boulders at 30 m. Some Seriatopora hystrix and Pocillopora verrucosa @ 30 m. Tubastrea. Many unknown plating species. Coral cover=5-10% at 25 m. Some Acropora. Fish life unimpressive, though several nice angelfish. Plentiful CCA at depth. Stylophora pistillata (SP). Finally began to see schooling fish. Snapper, batfish, encrusting Porites, Pachyseris, stinging hydroids (all over the place), Pocillopora acuta (uncommon). Coral cover @ 20 m was much more impressive. Nearly all encrusting species. Very little relief, likely due to high currents most of the time. One species of encrusting sponge also very common. Coral cover @ 20 m: 30-40%. At 15 m, more soft corals and hydroids, many unknown encrusting species, one of which looked like Isopora (are there encrusting isoporids?). At least 10-15 encrusting species @ 15 m. SC, brain corals, SP, 40-50% coral cover at 11-13 m. Went with current back into coral-dominated area. Very high coral diversity @ 10 m. Fire coral, Hydnophora, some Acropora. Slightly more relief at 9 m, at which point acroporids became more common. Nearly all SP were fluorescent green. Galaxea relatively common at all depths (small colonies). Mix of hard and soft corals in shallows (very beautiful; got some great photos). Few big fish with the exception of a small barracuda and some batfish. Some small massive poritids in shallows, Montipora, some finger Porites. Amazing corals at 5-9 m. 50-60% cover, high diversity, reef fish community eventually became more impressive but still signs of overfishing. Platygyra, Plerogyra, P. rus, leaf scorpionfish.