The Manta Ray

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Manta Ray, Manta birostris, Lan Kan Reef, Maldives.The Manta Ray is one of the most fascinating and amazing creatures in the water and high on the wish list of divers.

The Manta Ray “Alfredi” is the species most commonly seen in the Maldives, and it can grow up to five metres wide.

The population of Maldivian Manta Rays are year round residents, migrating across the country’s 26 atolls with the changing monsoons as they follow the seasonal shifts in the abundance of their planktonic food.

These amazing feeding aggregations are unique to the Maldives and are one of the world’s most spectacular natural underwater events.

88887-00945-689 One of the ways to learn more about the resident population of Manta Rays is an identifying method that has been established for recognising and recording individuals. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in cooperation with the Manta Ecology Project have set up a Manta database.

Divers Baros Maldives has participated in a workshop held by the IUCN and by using photographic and video identification the project has built a comprehensive database of over 25,000 sightings within the Maldives.

Every manta has its own unique pattern of black spots and shaded patches on its belly and, just like a fingerprint, can be used to identify every single individual.

Due to the ideal central position in the North Male Atoll of Baros Maldives, we have the opportunity to spot Manta Rays regularly at one of our Manta Dive Spots. During these dives we take pictures of the belly of the Manta Rays which are uploaded to the IUCN database. Not a lot is known about the Manta Rays and the aim is to gain more knowledge and understanding about these majestic but vulnerable creatures.

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