5 Video(s)

Sea snakes and marine turtles observed at the Chesterfield-Bellona reef complex in the Coral Sea Marine Park (Southwest Pacific)

The Chesterfield-Bellona atolls and reefs are a vast reef complex located in the Coral Sea Marine Park, established in 2014 in the New Caledonian Economic Exclusive Zone. In 2013, the New Caledonia government supported the first assessment of fish and benthic habitats conducted over the entire area. The assessment provided a primary knowledge base for establishing the importance of these atolls in terms of biodiversity and fished resources. This comprehensive survey relied on an unbaited underwater video technique that enabled to collect 185 successful camera drops distributed over all shallow habitats in the atolls.

Two snake species (Laticauda laticaudata, Aipysurus laevis) were recorded during the survey and one species from the genus Hydrophis). Sea snakes were observed at 8.6% of stations on sandy bottoms.

The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) was observed at five stations, all located in the live coral habitat in Chesterfield. This species is classified as endangered by IUCN.


Coral reef ecosystem, Reptiles, Biodiversity, Endangered species, Marine protected areas


Aipysurus laevis

Laticauda laticaudata

Chelonia mydas (green sea turtle, green turtle)


-18.546475N, -22.008438S, 158E, 160W

Temporal extent

2013 - 2013


These images were collected during the AMBIO project, "Marine Protected Area, Biodiversity, World Heritage", conceived and lead by the Lagoons, Ecosystems and Sustainable Aquaculture Research Unit of the IFREMER Delegation of New Caledonia. AMBIO was funded by the Government of New Caledonia, the Conservatoire des Espaces Naturels de Nouvelle-Calédonie, the North Province, the South Province, the Loyalty Province and IFREMER. It was co-funded by the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (Convention HC / 2100903999 - IFREMER 12/1210366 / CF). Project lead: Dominique Pelletier

How to cite
Pelletier Dominique, Powell Abigail, Roman William, Carpentier Liliane (2021). Sea snakes and marine turtles observed at the Chesterfield-Bellona reef complex in the Coral Sea Marine Park (Southwest Pacific). Ifremer. https://doi.org/10.24351/78070

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