This week in Bunaken … We have had some great dives here in Bunaken over the last week but the most amazing sighting was the capture of ten sargassum frogfish in a large ball of tangled rope, plastic, fishing net, fishing line and seaweed!
It was when we were off Lekuan 3 and the crew fished out the large ball of debris as it can cause a lot of damage to boat engines as well as to coral and marine life. Quite a few small crabs and shrimps fell from the tangled mess and they were quickly thrown back in the sea. Quite soon it was discovered that the tangled mess also was the home of no less than ten (yes, 10!) sargassum frog fish (Histrio Histrio) ranging in size from 2 cm to so tiny that the two smallest easily could fit on a thumb nail at the same time and still have space to stretch! Even though the sargassum frog fish is fairly common and can be found in most tropical and subtropical seas it is very rarely seen by divers since it spends its life in sargassum sea weed floating on the surface.
Our lovely little bunch was put in a bucket of sea water together with the seaweed untangled from the grabage ball and put back in to the sea and sent on their merry way.(Photo courtesy of Phil Clarke)
On the diving side, we have had awesome sightings of everything from eagle rays and chunky black tip reef sharks to ornate ghost pipe fish and pygmy sea horse. Two slightly rarer sightings from the extreme ends of the size scale added to the divers smiles.
Another big sighting of the week was when Dennis was doing a Tec refresher dive on Fukui prior to his Tec50 course and had a great suprise when a massive mola mola cruised by right over their heads! It was only at 12m, then took a gentle turn down in to the deep water again. Obviously everybody else refused to believe them as there was no photo evidence!