The shorefishes of Ouvea, an isolated atoll in the Loyalty Islands group of New Caledonia, had not been surveyed prior to 1990. An extensive survey was conducted by ORSTOM between 1991 and 1992 to obtain baseline information on the shorefishes. A
total of 653 taxa among 72 families are now documented from this area. The most diverse families are the Labridae (69 species), Pomacentridae (58 species), Gobiidae (54 spccies),Serranidae (39 species), Chaetodontidae (31 species) and Apogonidae (28
Nukutipipi atoll (5 km2), of volcanic origin 16-17 million years old on the Pitcairn (hot spot) Hereheretue line, presents a land flora and fauna of low diversity but with a Pisonia forest and hundreds of resident red-tailed tropic birds. Nukutipipi suffered from the 1983 hurricanes : destruction of vegetation and motu as well as sand lagoon mollusc populations. The north and south rims present original geomorphological structures.