This small island is the most easterly of the Lease group and about 80 km from Ambon, so in reality it’s probably only possible to dive the sites there from a live aboard, but if you get the chance to do so – take it!
The diving around Nusa Laut was pioneered by Eddie Frommenweiler and the late Larry Smith, who between them opened up much of the diving in Eastern Indonesia.
Larry Smith is said to have stated that the reef at Ameth, on the north-east tip of Nusa Laut, was his favorite reef in the entire eastern half of the Indonesian archipelago…
The diving in Indonesia is some of the best in the world, but there is no doubt that there has been an impact from unregulated over-fishing by Taiwanese & Chinese boats and the twin scourges of dynamite & cyanide fishing by local fishermen.
Of course it’s very easy to tell villagers living in these remote areas that they should not do these things, but people need to eat and the urge of quick profits from fish that just float to the surface after the dynamite has gone off is very tempting.
The villages of Ameth & Akon on the east coast of Nusa Laut, are two of only seven on the Island, but they are shining examples of what can happen when people understand that their local reef is more valuable in good condition than when ravaged by dynamite or cyanide fishing.
Both villages refused to allow such practices and have protected their reefs with a combination of sasis (a kind of spell to protect property & stop any trespassing) and more physical methods…
Urban myth has it that the Ameth village chief carries an ancient hand gun in his sarong which he produces with a flourish at the first opportunity!
The quality of their local reef means that the villages have a sustainable supply of fish plus they are able to charge dive operators to bring people there – something that I was more than willing to do twice over after diving there!
Back To: Ambon’s South Coast
Back To: Maluku Province Overview