What are Manta rays?
Manta rays are cartilaginous fishes which are related to sharks and all other rays. Manta rays evolved from their close relatives around five million years ago, and they’re totally harmless; being without teeth or a venomous tail spine.
The origin of their common name is related to a myth, which claims that centuries ago Spanish fishermen were frightened by a huge sea creature, resembling a giant cloak (‘manta’ in Spanish), that would wrap them up and drown them if they fell into the sea.
What is the impact of Manta ray tourism?
Manta ray watching, diving and snorkelling tours have significantly grown in numbers globally in the last few decades, in some cases, resulting in poor human behaviour leading to increased stress and harm of the manta rays and their natural habitat.
For this reason, we are disseminating a code of conduct (based on recommendations by the Manta Trust) that aims to reduce these unsustainable and negative interactions that can occur during viewing of these creatures. .
The code of conduct is applicable to all tour operators and tourists who respect responsible tourism activities and strive to protect manta rays.
The Standard for Manta Ray Watching
Friend of the Sea Sustainable Manta Ray Watching standard seeks to minimise unintentional disturbance through key principles of conduct.
Friend of the Sea criteria for Sustainable Manta Ray Watching require:
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