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The Lagoon

The tropical lagoon and coral reefs Utila are an outstanding example of high diversity coral reef ecosystems and form one of the most extensive reef systems in the world. They are the location for the world’s most diverse concentration of reef structures, with an exceptional diversity of coral and fish species and a continuum of habitats from mangroves to seagrasses and a wide range of reef forms, extending over important oceanic gradients. They still display intact ecosystems, with healthy populations of top predators, and a large number and diversity of large fish. They are of exceptional natural beauty, and contain diverse reefs of varying age from living reefs through to ancient fossil reefs, providing an important source of information on the natural history of Oceania.

The tropical lagoons and coral reefs of New Caledonia are considered to be some of the most beautiful reef systems in the world due to their wide variety of shapes and forms within a comparatively small area. This ranges from extensive double barrier systems, offshore reefs and coral islands, to the near-shore reticulate reef formations in the west coast zone. The richness and diversity of landscapes and coastal backdrops gives a distinctive aesthetic appeal of exceptional quality. This beauty continues below the surface with dramatic displays of coral diversity, massive coral structures, together with arches, caves and major fissures in the reefs.