Motupore Island Research Centre
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Where is the Motupore Island Research Centre?
MIRC is based on Motupore Island in Bootless Bay off the East Hiri Coast some 15km SE of Port Moresby, the capital and international port of entry to Papua New Guinea. Motupore Island is within the Papuan Barrier Reef, the lagoon of which is a submerged ancient coastal plain whose outer margin is defined by an impressive reef some 5km offshore, paralleling the PNG coast for many kilometers to the SE. The small hilly island of Motupore is c. 800 m by 280 m, covering 45 acres. Most tropical marine habitat sites are present between Motupore Island and the barrier reef, including a variety of reef types [fringing, patch and barrier], sea-grass and algae beds, mangroves and extensive intertidal and sublittoral carbonate and mud areas. The terrestrial vegetation is mainly eucalypt savannah, but with pockets of monsoonal woodland and a limited strand formation. The substantial amount of research in the last 3 decades that has been undertaken on and around Motupore and its adjacent environment makes it one of the most studied sites in PNG.
The island is a protected archaeological site, of cultural heritage significance, the UPNG adopting a custodial role on behalf of the National Museum. There is a traditional burial ground and a kitchen midden with remains dating back 500 years.
Fishermen from local villages can regularly be seen using traditional fishing methods in Bootless Bay. MIRC also has strong links with the neighbouring Loloata Island Dive Resort.
Motupore Island is only 40 minutes (car and boat) from the main UPNG campus in Waigani and nearby Port Moresby, offering ready access to the University library, National Museum and Governmental Departments such as the National Fisheries Authority and the Department of Environment and Conservation. Access to Motupore is controlled through its mainland support facility, the Tahira Marine Base. This provides a high level of security for visitors and their equipment, and offers ample land area for secure parking, shipment of equipment and heavy boat maintenance. The boat trip from Tahira to Motupore lasts 10 minutes.
MIRC can arrange Airport pick-ups for international visitors, if required. Internal air services regularly connect Port Moresby to other provinces in PNG. There are good international connections with most major destinations in the region.