We are doing manta surveys and today we are in Manta Alley!
This should be one of the best places to find manta rays. But on our first dive we don’t find any.
On our second dive things are very different. So many mantas! We had more than 20 swimming really close and all around us. As you know, mantas have a huge size and they need lots of space to swim. So don’t forget about the manta code of conduct when we dive with them.
We need to LISTEN to our dive guide so our diving with mantas will be more safe for the divers and the environment.
We should only WATCH but never touch, because like other marine species the skin of mantas is covered in a protective layer of mucus that is easily removed.
If we BEHAVE in a non-threatening way by keeping at least 3 meters away and letting the mantas control the experience, we have a better chance of a great encounter.
By keeping our POSITION near to the seafloor we can ensure the mantas have plenty of space to manoeuvre in the water column.
When we EXHALE we must be aware of our bubbles, as these can startle the mantas if they are directly overhead.
As divers we should always PROTECT our environment by exercising good buoyancy, and not kicking, damaging or touching the reef or other marine life.
And if we have a good opportunity to PHOTOGRAPH the manta, we should avoid excessive flash and not forget the previous steps in our efforts to take a great photo.
After the dive we can report our encounters to http://mantawatch.com/report and play a role in protecting our ocean as a citizen scientist.