Manta Sandy is a well-known cleaning station in the Dampier Strait region. Known for its regular sightings of mantas during the season, it has become a ‘must see’ dive site for all operators, and a location suitable for scientists and film-makers to observe these stunning creatures. However, this high and ever increasing level of human traffic can see up to 9 boats drop up to 50 divers at a time at this location. Whilst some effort has been made to moderate diver behavior (a “do not cross” rubble line) this moderation is not always adhered to, or enforced. Poor diver and/or operator behavior such as entering the cleaning station or dropping divers right on top of mantas, as well as the sheer volume of divers and boat traffic is having a direct impact upon the number of mantas in the area.
Code of Conduct for Manta Ray Interactions
Every diver and snorkeler loves to see manta rays - the ballerinas of the sea they are simply majestic, humbling and awe inspiring all at the same time. However, in our excitement, or even lack of understanding, sometimes our behaviours have a negative impact on the animals, not only disturbing them but limiting our ability to view them - a disturbed manta ray will move away very quickly.
In order to minimise our impact on the behaviour and health of manta rays (both individuals and populations) we all must ensure we behave appropriately in the water. Please refer to the Code of Conduct(s) below, for both snorkelers and scuba divers. Well behaved divers and snorkelers will have the best interactions!