MANTA VISTA

Manta rays are the biggest rays in the ocean. Despite their size, these majestic beauties pose little threat to humans, making them very popular among divers. They are generally found in warm waters across the planet, and are declared as “vulnerable” by the Internation

1.KONA & THE BIG ISLAND, HAWAII (Kona Coast)

Manta alfredi

Peak Season:

Year round

Population:

<350. Main attraction is the night dive/snorkel with mantas off Kona

2. REVILLAGIGEDO ISLANDS, MEXICO (The Boiler)

Manta birostris

Peak Season:

Year round

(best Nov-Jun)

Population:

>350 but expected to be much larger. This location consistently has sightings of very large individuals with wingspan >5m. Black mantas are also common at this site

3.ISLA MUJERES & ISLA HOLBOX, MEXICO (Bahia de las Mantas)

Manta birostris

Peak Season:

Year round

Population:

Unknown. This Caribbean manta could well be a third species of manta ray

4.ISLA DE LA PLATA, ECUADOR

Manta birostris

Peak Season:

Year round

(best Jun-Oct)

Population:

~350 but expected to be much larger. Weather conditions make this site hard to access at certain times of the year

5.MALDIVES

Manta birostris/Manta alfredi

Peak Season:

Jul-Sep

Population:

5,000-6,000

6. KOH BON,SIMILAN ISLANDS, THAILAND (West Ridge, Koh Bon Pinnacle)

Manta birostris

Peak Season:

Year round

(best Jan-May)

Population:

Unknown

7.YAEYAMA ISLANDS, JAPAN (Manta Scramble)

Manta alfredi

Peak Season:

Year round, but bad weather in the winter often prevents diving at the main manta site

Population:

300

8.YAP, PALAU, KIRIBATI & GUAM (Manta Ridge, Manta Ray Bay, Valley of the Rays)

Manta alfredi

Peak Season:

Year round

Population:

~100. All these small islands have small populations of reef mantas year round

9.KOMODO NATIONAL PARK, INDONESIA (Manta Alley, German Flag, Batu Tiga, Karang Makasar, Tatawa Kecil, Tatawa Besar)

Manta birostris/Manta alfredi

Peak Season:

Year round

Population:

Unknown. Black morph mantas are found at this site. Mantas migrate from the north to south of the park with the seasons

10.KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI (Manta Reef)

Manta alfredi

Peak Season:

Year round

Population:

Unknown, but likely to be fairly small

11.GREAT BARRIER REEF, EASTERN AUSTRALIA (North Bommie, Coral Grotto, Plate LEdge, Pam’s Point, Heron Bommie)

Manta alfredi

Peak Season:

Year round

Population:

>500

12.CORAL BAY, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Manta alfredi

Peak Season:

Year round

Population:

>500

Note: Coral Bay is a location along the Ningaloo Reef, where the manta population is said to be between 1,200 and 1,500

13.NUSA PENIDA ISLAND, BALI, INDONESIA (Manta Point, Mola Mola)

Manta birostris/

Manta alfredi

Peak Season:

Year round

Population:

Unknown

14.TOFO, INHAMBANE, MOZAMBIQUE & SODWANA BAY, SOUTH AFRICA (Bass City, Shallow Malongane, Bread Loaf, Paradise Ledge, Turtle Creek, Fingers, Checkers, Doodles, Ponta do Ouro)

Manta alfredi

Peak Season:

Reef mantas >900. Oceanic mantas >100 (pop estimate 600)

Population:

Unknown

Read the rest of this article in No.113 Issue 3/2018 of Scuba Diver magazine by subscribing here or check out all of our publications here.

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