The 90-meter Bahama-flagged vessel owned and operated by Salen Ship Management destroyed coral reefs of Wararema Shoal in the Dampier Strait in Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia, on 4 March 2017. The 4,290-tons cruise ship was mastered by a British Captain, Mr. Keith Michael Taylor, and carrying 102 passengers and 79 crew on a 16-night journey from Papua New Guinea to the Philippines. It ran aground on the coral after a bird-watching trip to Waigeo Island, one of four big islands in Raja Ampat. Raja Ampat in West Papua has the richest underwater biodiversity on Earth.
Caledonia Sky damaged 18,882 square meters of pristine reef. A joint survey conducted by Indonesian government and the representative of the insurance company in March and April 2017, revealed that some 13,270 square meters of reef were totally damaged while 5,612 square meters suffered damage with only a 50 percent chance of survival. Furthermore, the incident also resulted in the destruction of the ecosystems structural habitat and biodiversity of corals, including acropora, porites, montipora and stylophora.
The Indonesian government is fully committed to investigate the incident, uphold the law and law enforcement, restore the destroyed reef, and remedy all the damage by demanding responsibility of the owner, operator and the captain of the vessel. The damage will be thoroughly calculated, considering many factors such as, not limited to, damaged coral reefs, affected fish, marine biota, the value of maritime tourism, damaged ecosystem and damages inflicted on the local economy.