Manta Sandy Ranger Station

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.

SOP for operators visiting Manta Sandy - CLICK HERE

Code of Conduct for divers - CLICK HERE

Code of Conduct for Snorkellers - CLICK HERE

Objectives

To increase tourism regulations in order to minimize the impact of tourism on mantas and the reef environment

In collaboration with Conservation International, Marine Megafauna Foundation, Papua Divers, Raja4Divers, Raja Ampat Biodiversity, Raja Ampat Liveaboard Association (Jangkar), local government, villages and local homestays, we are working to establish a permanent ranger station at Manta Sandy.

Targets 2018 - 2019

Improve the consistency of the ranger management and operations

The first year of implementation of the Manta Sandy ranger station has been relatively successful for a first attempt, but several aspects still require improvement and refinement. This includes ranger management and monitoring of absenteeism, and administrative follow up regarding accurate and efficient reporting. In collaboration with tourism and marine park government departments, as well as Conservation International, we hope to continue to improve and strengthen this pilot approach to tourism management.

Project Status 2018

Preliminary signs are showing a positive effect of the Ranger Station at Manta Sandy

After the 2017/18 manta season, we now have preliminary data that indicates that since the implementation of the Ranger Station, and subsequent regulation around the number of divers and boat behaviour, there is a correlation with a higher number of mantas aggregating on the site. This data needs further analysis, however preliminary signs suggest that the Ranger Station is having a positive effect.

Project Status 2017

Ranger Station Construction

Through a collaboration between resorts, liveaboards, local communities and local government, sufficient funds were raised to build the ranger station, completed in February 2017. This process was the result of 12 months of negotiation with relevant stakeholders and the local community in order to make sure that all views were considered before implementation.

Standard Operations Procedure for visitors to Manta Sandy

Please find below a copy of the Standard Operation Procedure at Manta Sandy Ranger Station. It is crucial that all operators adhere to this SOP in order to support sustainable tourism practice within the region.

CLICK HERE for a downloadable version of the Station Standard Operations Procedure for visitors to Manta Sandy

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!

Manta Ray Code of Conduct - Scuba Diving

CLICK HERE to access Code of Conduct - Scuba Diving

Manta Ray Code of Conduct - Snorkeling

CLICK HERE to access Code of Conduct - Snorkeling

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