The Red Reefs of Prony Bay
One of the most interesting locations we visited in New Caledonia was Prony Bay. Prony Bay is located at the southern end of Grande Terre at the base of a large nickel mining operation. The towering red-tinged mountains in the background were just the beginning of the intriguing research site of Prony Bay. The visibility was very low because of fine reddish silt that formed a cloud every time a fin kick was a bit too close to the bottom. Therefore, the scientific divers had to be very careful with their buoyancy control. High turbidity, low salinity, and sedimentation run-off are poor environmental conditions for corals to be able to successfully live—let alone thrive. But a robust and diverse coral community is exactly what we found.