Manta Ray, one of the gentle giants in the ocean has long been a favourite among divers. It’s always a pleasant experience diving with them. Despite of their enormous body, Manta Rays are known to be very friendly and welcoming to human! Moreover, having the biggest brain among the fishes makes them very intelligent—in par with the dolphins. And that means Manta Ray could develop playful interaction with humans that make the diving experience very rewarding. Diving in Manta Point Bali, Nusa Penida Island naturally become highly popular among divers—both locals and international divers.
Numero Uno Rule for Diving in Manta Point Bali: A Sustainable Tourism
Whenever Manta is available for tourism, you know it should be a sustainable one. In many countries including Indonesia, Manta tourism is one way to combat the issues of illegal Manta fisheries. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) believes that the gills of Manta Rays are effective remedies for many illness; from clearing a smoker’s lungs to increasing the amount of breastmilk of a mom. None of these are medically and scientifically unproven, of course, but the demand of Manta’s gills is still high as ever. Since 2014, the Indonesian government has stepped down to ban Manta trades and promote Manta tourism, estimating that one Manta Rays could make up to 12 billion rupiahs over its lifetime, far greater than what it makes when killed and sold on the TCM market.
You can support the sustainable Manta tourism while diving in Manta Point Bali, too. You can start to bring reusable water bottles instead of buying plastic bottled waters, reducing your waste, use reef-friendly sunscreen, and not touching the manta rays when you see it. Choose to dive with local dive centre that doesn’t promote interactive Manta experiences, have certification and environmental code of conducts, and supporting eco-tourism.
Descending to the Manta Point
It’s the time you have waited for so long. You have been watching them from one of the cliff of Nusa Penida; black triangles creatures swimming around in crystal clear water all morning. Now that your boat has reached the site, it’s time to see what’s diving in Manta Point Bali would brings. Slowly, enter the water quietly and calmly. No jumping from the boat. Don’t enter closer than 10 meters from the closest Manta Ray. We do not want to scare them off.
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Don’t Disturb the Mantas
It always feel amazing when a Manta Ray passes before you, gliding graciously with their colossal fins—almost like flying in the world of blue. However, no matter how inspired you feel, never attempt to chase the Manta Ray. Again, this might stressed these poor creatures and cause a disruptive behaviour among the Mantas. You will never catch up to Manta Rays anyway, so don’t try.
Diving with the Giants in Manta Point Bali
When you spot a Manta Ray and want to swim with them, be mindful with your movement. Keep the movement of your fins so it won’t cause splashing noise. It can scare the Manta away. Approach the Manta from their side so they’ll have a clear path ahead. Keep your distance. Do not get closer than 3 meters (10 feet)—unless the Manta approached you first! If this happens, consider yourself very, very lucky!