Swimming with manta rays while scuba diving or snorkelling is often cited as a ‘must-do’ experience and a holiday at Komandoo Maldives is the perfect chance to realise the dream of encountering these gentle giants of the ocean, when visiting during manta season!
Mantas are listed as a globally ‘vulnerable’ species with decreasing populations due to the pressures of over fishing as well as the trade in their gill rakers. Manta Trust, a UK based charity working in the Maldives has marine biologists stationed at resorts, including our sister resort, Hurawalhi Maldives, working tirelessly on research, conservation and education in a bid to save the magnificent manta rays we all love to see.
To ensure their survival as well as a continuation of the incredible encounters we currently enjoy, manta interactions need to be sustainable with everyone being mindful of the mantas and their home – the ocean, we are merely visitors to their world and so should be respectful. Mantas are very sensitive to disturbances and if interactions are not controlled, divers and snorkellers could negatively impact local populations by inadvertently driving them away from their established feeding grounds and cleaning stations. Based on their research, the Manta Trust have set out guidelines of ‘How to Swim with Manta Rays‘, thus ensuring interactions are sustainable.
Sustainable manta encounters follow these simple guidelines: enter the water quietly with minimal splashing, do not touch or chase a manta or block it’s path; stay away from the top of cleaning stations, find an unobtrusive place from which to observe and just relax and enjoy one of nature’s greatest shows!