Jakarta (ANTARA News) - A total of 18,882 meter square of coral reef in the Raja Ampat sub-district, West Papua, had been declared damaged by the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs.

According to a press statement received here on Tuesday, the Ministrys Deputy of Maritime Sovereignty Arif Havas Oegroseno stated that both the survey teams, established by the Indonesian government and MV Caledonian Sky ships insurance company, had agreed to the total meter square of damaged coral reef.

Furthermore, Havas noted that the 18,882 meter square area was divided into two separate damage conditions.

"About 13,270 meter square of the total damaged area was totally destructed as it was ran aground by the cruise ship, while the rest of the 5,612 meter square area was moderately damaged as it was scourged by the sand and coral reef pieces that were disrupted by the ships movement. The latter now possess 50 percent life expectancy," he remarked.

Havas also noted that should the rehabilitation processes fail and the moderately damaged coral reef, with 50 percent life expectancy, end up dying, then the 5,612 meter square area will also be included under the totally destructed category.

Following the survey, both the teams had agreed to carry out their own investigations separately.

Both teams are then scheduled to conduct another meeting during the first week of April in Jakarta, with the discussion around the final survey results as the agenda.

"The valuation team will soon review the economical damages caused by the coral reef destruction," he said, adding that the valuation team will be led by the Ministry of Forestry and Environment.

It was previously reported that the team of various ministries, tasked with settling the Raja Ampat coral reef damage dispute, established a total of 22,060 meter square of survey area, along with British insurance company P&I Club.

The MV Caledonian Sky cruise ship, which ran aground onto a coral reef off Raja Ampat District in West Papua on March 4, 2017, had resulted in a huge loss to the district.

The damage caused by Caledonian Sky, carrying hundreds of tourists and 79 crew members aboard, was due to the negligence of the its captain, according to the Raja Ampat district government.

The accident resulted in the destruction of the ecosystems structural habitat and the reduction or loss of diversity of eight coral genera, including acropora, porites, montipora, and stylophora.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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