1 Juni 2009

Weh Island






Weh is a beautiful island located at the north western tip of Sumatra. It presents the western most part of the Indonesian archipelago - the world's largest, stretching some 4.000 km to the east.
The great attraction of this small island is its scenic beauty. Weh's rugged terrain, rocky caves, harbour views, hillside lookouts, marvellous beaches, and sleepy traditional villages all attest to these.

The island of Weh is surrounded by other smaller islands including Klah, Rubiah, Seulako, and Rondo. Together, all these islands cover an area of 154 square kilometers with the population concentrated on the main island of Weh.

Weh Island—locally known as "Sabang"—is a small, active volcanic island off Aceh, a state on the northwestern tip of Sumatra, Indonesia. Situated at the convergence of the Indian and Pacific oceans, the coral reefs around Weh teem with a great diversity of fish species. The island’s beaches are a haven for nesting sea turtles, and its waters are full of healthy populations of whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins, and reef sharks.

Fast Facts
  • Aceh is Indonesia’s westernmost state.
  • A rare megamouth shark—so known for its enormous mouth with rubbery lips—was found washed up on Weh Island’s shore in 2004. There have only been 36 findings of megamouth sharks in the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic oceans since the species was discovered in 1976.
  • Weh is the only known home to a threatened species of toad, Bufo valhallae.
  • Following the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, WCS conducted one of the first on-the-ground ecological assessments of the state of the coral reefs off northwestern Sumatra’s coast.
Challenges

Weh and Aceh are located in the Andaman Sea, which was greatly affected by the December 2004 earthquake and tsunami. The catastrophe destroyed mangroves in the region and washed debris from the land onto the reefs. Other threats to the reefs include destructive fishing practices, such as the use of dynamite and cyanide, and a marine predator, the crown-of-thorns starfish, which can cause widespread damage to corals during periodic population outbreaks.

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