In 2014 The Nusa Penida islands, approximately 20km off the south east coast of Bali, Indonesia, became a Marine Protected Area (MPA).
To ensure that the many diving visitors have limited impacts on the sunfish and the reef ecosystem the Diver Code of Conduct was made an official part of the park regulations by the Klungkung District Government.

It is vitally important that each individual visiting this area takes it on themselves to behave responsibly and respectfully to help preserve this important ecosystem. If we all do our part we, and future generations, can continue to enjoy the beauty and economic success of the marine park.

Please watch the Code of Conduct video below and let’s all do our part to help protect our coral reefs, which protect all the species that inhabit them and, in turn, ensures the continued annual aggregation of the enchanting Bali Sunfish.


The popularity of the Nusa Penida Islands among scuba divers and snorkelers is mainly a result of the incredible biodiversity of the area and the healthy condition of reefs.

According to ecological surveys done between 2002 – 2009, Nusa Penida’s marine environment is comprised of :

  • 1,419 hectare coral reef system
  • 296 species of coral
  • 576 species of reef fish.
  • 230 hectares, 13 species of mangrove forest
  • 108 hectares, 8 species of seagrass

These stunning reefs also accommodate many charismatic species including manta rays, sharks, turtles and, of course, the infamous ocean sunfish.

This high diversity of marine life twinned with the growing number of visitors did not go unnoticed and in 2008 the first major steps began towards establishing the Nusa Penida Islands into a Marine Protected Area (MPA).

In 2014 Nusa Penida was officially enacted as an MPA under the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Decree no.24/2014.

It was not only the high levels of biodiversity that made Nusa Penida so important and of such interest to science and conservation. The water temperatures around Nusa Penida are generally colder than other areas of Bali, particularly when compared to the northern coastline. The temperatures are not only generally colder but also fluctuate throughout the day and year. Cold water upwellings that coincide with the seasonal sunfish aggregation can bring temperatures as low as 16 degrees Celcius.

These temperature oscillations give the coral of Nusa Penida valuable protection from ever growing environmental threats, in particular ocean warming and the increased frequency and intensity of El Nino events. This natural support system means that not only are the corals around Nusa Penida healthier and more abundant but they are also naturally more resilient to temperature change and shocks.

Protecting the Nusa Penida reef system is to protect the coral that has the ability to regenerate the more vulnerable reefs around Bali. With many reefs in decline around the world it is vital that we help protect, preserve and propagate the reefs to which Nature has given a fighting chance.

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