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New Caledonia


New Caledonia (French: Nouvelle-Calédonie), is a "sui generis collectivity" (in practice an overseas territory) of France, made up of a main island (Grande Terre) and several smaller islands, the Belep archipelago to the north of the Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands to the east of the Grande Terre, the Île des Pins to the south of the Grande Terre, the Chesterfield Islands and Bellona Reefs further to the west.

New Caledonia is located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, approximately 1,200 km east of Australia and 1,500 km (932 mi) northwest of New Zealand. The island nation of Vanuatu lies to the northeast. It has a land area of 18,575.5 square kilometres (7,172 sq mi). The population was 236,528 inhabitants as of January 2006 official estimates. The capital and largest city of the territory, Nouméa, is also the seat of the regional organization the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (formerly the South Pacific Commission).

The country is also home to important aquatic ecosystems. New Caledonia's Barrier Reef, which surrounds Grande Terre and the Isle of Pines (Île des Pins), is the second-largest coral reef in the world after Australia's Great Barrier Reef, reaching a length of 1,500 kilometres (930 mi).  The Caledonian reef system has great species diversity, is home to endangered dugongs (Dugong dugong), and is an important nesting site for the Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas). The Nautilus is a living-fossil species, once common during the age of the dinosaurs, and survives today in the waters surrounding New Caledonia.









Anse Vata


Principal watchers: Seagrass-Watch HQ
Occasional and past watchers:
Location: Anse Vata
Site codes: AV1

Site established: May 2007

AV1: Latitude: 22°.18.806’S Longitude: 166° 027.307’E

Comments: In May 2007 a long-term monitoring site was examined on the intertidal reef-flat east of the Le Meridien resort, Anse Vata (Noumea). The site was dominated by Halodule uninervis and Cymodocea serrulata (minor patches of Thalassia hemprichii and Halophila ovalis). Epiphyte cover was very high (>80%), and holothurians were abundant. The reef-flat is also a popular location for fishing and gleaning.



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Seagrass-Watch HQ
Address: Northern Fisheries Centre
PO Box 5396
Cairns Qld 4870
Phone: [+61][07] 40 350 100