The Bumphead Parrotfish - The Gentle Giants of the Gili Islands

The Gili Islands are located on the south west corner of the coral triangle, off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia, which means if you choose to dive here with Blue Marine, you are choosing to dive  in one of the most marine rich areas in the world with some 3000 species of fish located within the coral triangle

The Coral Triangle

The Coral Triangle

Some of the most eye catching species to come across are the Bumphead Parrotfish, once a  month, just before and after full moon, we experience a gathering of schooling Bumpheads on our reef flats surrounding the Gili Islands, They come in schools of +- 10 - 60 fish, like a heard off buffalo grazing, feeding on the hard corals that make up of most of our reef systems.

Finding yourself engulfed by a large school of bumphead parrotfish as they munch their way through acres of coral reef, is an experience not easily forgotten.

We generally come across these gentle giants cruising the shallow slopes of Shark point, Halik, Soraya reef and Meno slope, and plan our dives accordingly, if you are lucky enough to be diving around the full moon you have a very good chance of bumping into a massive school of them!

You may be busy inspecting the nooks and crannies of a reef or gliding gently along a steep drop-off when suddenly your senses are alerted to the presence of these magnificent fish. Normally traveling in schools they often appear like heard of buffalo filling divers' ears with their noisy crunching and excreting wafts of fine sand onto the ocean floor.

In areas where they are exposed to fishing pressure or high sea traffic, Bumpheads have become wary of reefs near human habitats. In marine protected areas like the Gili Islands these gentle giants are far more approachable to divers. You can often see them tearing   around before your eyes and seemingly not paying you the slightest bit of notice!


Images & Info: Nicholas Manning &