I have been posting photographs on flickr since 2009, and the site has an algorithm, based on how many people look at, comment on and favorite my shots, to determine the most interesting pictures. Here they are: the countdown is at #19: Dwarf Gobies:
In 2011 I moved from Okinawa, Japan, to Sydney, Australia. I had lived in Japan for five years, and the diving there was quite a treat. But the blatant racism in Japanese society and the lack of intellectual stimulation in the ‘university’ where I worked eventually drove me out, and I decided to make good use of three months of in-between-job time. This meant traveling through the Philippines and Indonesia, and taking lots of pictures underwater and topside. One of my favorite spots I had the pleasure of visiting during this trip was Padre Burgos, in southern Leyte in the Philippines.
In some parts of the ‘Pinas, irresponsible fishing practices like throwing dynamite into the water and then collecting all the dead fish floating on top have destroyed the reefs. Not so in Padre Burgos . The reefs are healthy and studded with intact hard coral formations. The water off these hard corals is densely populated by anthiases, sweetlips, gropers, butterflyfish and a variety of other finned friends. These were some of the richest and most biodiverse reefs I had ever seen. A wonderland! On one dive, I was excited to discover these brilliantly colored, partially translucent dwarf gobies, hovering just above some hard coral fingers. Real gems of the reef!