Kimbe Bay lies on the north side of New Britain fringed by a undulating landscape of volcanoes and forest. Due the regions volatile geology the island straddles two tectonic plates causing the shelf of the island to plunge into fathomless depths. Within the bay there are many sea mounts, underwater mountains that barley reach 30m/100ft beneath the surface and some that are exposed at low tides. All are covered in dense and diverse hard coral gardens. Scientific journals vary slightly on the exact species number, but its around 536 types of coral which is more than half the world’s species. The mass bleaching events on the (relatively) close by Great Barrier Reef have been a real concern for the reefs around Kimbe. Although there is evidence of bleaching here, it is nothing like the large scale events seen else where. The remote location and low anthropogenic impacts on the area have given the corals an extra resilience against rising sea temperatures.
Fishing here is minimal, generally just subsistence fishing from the small villages that are dotted along the coastline. Healthy populations of predatory species like Groupers and Snappers are highly abundant. The fish species count here is around 900, one of the highest on the planet.
Kimbe Bay is a very special place, the remarkable marine biodiversity and low numbers of divers make this a underwater photographers paradise. A special thanks to everyone at Walindi Plantation Resort as well as Alan, Josie, Digger and all the staff/crew on the MV FeBrina.
Find more of Joe’s work here.