Uncovering the Kinds of Hidden Potential of Papua Fish through Expedition

goodmorningpapua.com – Writing on biodiversity of fish in the Papua region was initiated by Max Weber (1907). Furthermore, an expedition was carried out by de Beaufort examining the diversity of fish species in the Papua region in 1909-1910.

On this trip, de Beaufort perpetuated the name of a species of fish as a symbol of honoring for his wife, Chaterine, who accompanied him on this expedition (de Beaufort, 1913). The name of the fish is Melanotaenia chaterinae, a type of rainbow fish from Waigeo Island.

Nearly twenty years later, in 1929 the Crane Pacific expedition collected  in New Guinea, New Hebrides, Tuamotu Islands (Kep.), Kep. Society, Waigeu Island, Kep. Fiji, Kep. Solomon and Kep. Marquesas. Most of the specimens were carried on to Stanford University and reported by Herre (1935 & 1936). The next fish collection in the region is the result of Richard Archbold’s 1938-1939 New Guinea Expedition, the collection is kept at The American Museum of Natural History and written by Nichols (1940).

A new era of fish research in the Papua region was initiated by Dr. Gerald R Allen, who was working as a curator at the Western Australian Museum (WAM). His first paper was published in 1980, but in the same year four other writings were published (Allen, 1980). Several books on freshwater fish have also been published (Allen, 1991; Allen et al, 1982 & 2000). Since 1980 until now, no less than 68 articles of freshwater fish from Papua and its surroundings have been published. In addition, GR Allen is also very qualified for writing sea fish.

Research in the Papua region had also been carried out by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) under the name Archipelago Expedition (EWIN). This expedition involved quite a number of researchers from several Research Centers under LIPI (Biology Research Center, Geotechnology Research Center, Community Social Research Center and others). This expedition also involved LIPI researchers from the various disciplines. The research had been carried out for two years in the Raja Ampat region, West Papua. In 2007 the research was conducted on Waigeo Island, while in 2008 it was on Batanta Island.

Research on the biodiversity of freshwater fish at Waigeo Island succeeded for obtaining 591 fish specimens consisting of 60 fish species belonging to 29 families (Hadiaty, 2007), this collection is kept at the Zoologicum Bogoriense Museum (MZB) with registration numbers MZB 15301-15334 and MZB 15581. – 15640, the total collection is 94 numbers. The collection in P. Batanta succeeded for  getting 51 species from 25 families and being deposited in MZB of total of 138 numbers, with registration MZB 17030 – MZB 1716 (Hadiaty, 2008). Collections from the two islands indicate that some of them are new species.

At the end of 2010,  precisely from 29 October to 9 November 2010, an expedition initiated by the Zoology Division, a LIPI Research Center for Biology  in collaborating with Conservation International in the Arguni Bay area, Kaimana Regency, West Papua Province. The aquatic team from the Zoology field under the coordination of Dr. Daisy Wowor, consisted of Ir. Ristiyanti M Marwoto, an author and Mulyadi, a herpetology technician. The coordination in the field was carried out by the CI team under the command of Dr. Mark Erdmann, who also plays an active role in the implementation of fauna collection. As an interviewee for this research, it was presenting Dr. Gerald R Allen, a fish expert from the Western Australia Museum. This research also involved two staff of the local government agencies, Ir. Zeth Parinding MSi from BKSDA and Ir. Nimrod Tafre from BAPPEDA, and Drs. Samuel Renyaan MSc, a lecturer at the University of Cendrawasih. In the field, we are helped a lot by CI Kaimana staff. Fish samples were collected in 24 water locations at the Teluk Arguni Bawah District (DTAB) and the Teluk Arguni Atas District (DTAA).

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