Indonesia to take action against coral damage by cruise ship

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - The Indonesian government says it will take strong action in response to the destruction of coral reefs by a cruise ship at a popular tourist destination.

A senior official of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Arif Havas Oegroseno, said Tuesday that a task force has been established to deal with both civil and criminal aspects of the issue.

The 4,200-ton Bahama-flagged M.V. Caledonian Sky entered the waters of Radja Ampat in West Papua province on March 4 after visiting surrounding islands for bird watching and art performances.

When it started to sail to Bitung it ran aground on coral reefs in the region.

A preliminary investigation found that the ship destroyed about 1,600 square meters (17,200 square feet) of coral in the heart of Radja Ampat.