TCF Showcases Islands Diversity For World Oceans Day
The ocean plays a central role in the economy of the Togean islands, but it also houses some of our most threatened endemic species. Surrounding our landmass is a combination of mangrove forests, coral reefs and seagrass meadows which contain 331 species ranked as Near Threatened or worse on the IUCN Red List.
Amongst the vast abundance of flora and fauna, there are dolphins, whales, a small population of dugongs, both green and hawksbill turtles as well as the famous Togean pygmy seahorse. The islands are also lucky enough to be surrounded by the most diverse coral reefs in Indonesia; including some unique to the islands.
All of the above allows for a thriving tourism industry as both domestic and foreign travelers can enjoy diving and snorkeling around the islands. It also supports the local community as the island's population depends heavily on food from the sea whilst tourism has boosted employment opportunities.
Whilst we were not able to welcome tourists to the islands for this year's World Oceans Day, we wanted to share the incredible diversity which we are granted through a photo competition.
With four categories; Night Shots, Macro Life, Above the Waves and Living Reef, locals and previous visitors were encouraged to submit their best shot for a chance to win a stay at one of the fabulous resorts on the island.
We were absolutely overwhelmed by the quality and variety of the entries, but sadly we could only pick four winners.
Winner of the ABOVE THE WAVES Category: Simona Kallai. This photo of a double rainbow above Harmony Bay hardly seems real. Simona is rewarded with a stay at Harmony Bay Resort and Dive Centre for her prize.
Winner of the LIVING REEF Category: Mark Levitin. Taken in Palau Malenge, this aerial shot of a local fisherman really showcases the vibrant colours of the surrounding ocean. Mark's prize is a stay at Sanctum Eco-resort, Una-Una
Winner of the NIGHT SHOTS Category: Manuel Pertl. Not only did Manuel take this photo on his 100th dive, but he had just got engaged shortly before. This reef squid seemed keen to join in the celebrations by displaying his vibrant colours. Manuel wins a stay at Reconnect, Buka-buka as his prize.
Winner of the MACRO LIFE category: Rachael Amelia. This fascinating shot of Christmas Tree Worms has won Rachael a stay at Black Marlin Dive Resort, Kadidiri
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Togean Conservation Foundation
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