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Manta Sandy Ranger Station

Manta Sandy is a renowned cleaning station situated in the Dampier Strait region, celebrated for its frequent manta sightings during the season. It has evolved into a ‘must-see’ dive site for all operators, attracting scientists and filmmakers keen on observing these magnificent creatures. However, the escalating human traffic has led to a concerning situation, with up to nine boats and 50 divers being dropped at the location simultaneously. Despite attempts to regulate diver behavior, such as the establishment of a “do not cross” rubble line, adherence to and enforcement of these guidelines are inconsistent. Problematic diver and operator conduct, such as intruding into the cleaning station or releasing divers directly above mantas, coupled with the sheer volume of divers and boat traffic, is directly impacting the manta population in the area.

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, SEA Centre has taken a proactive step by establishing a Manta Ranger Station at Manta Sandy. Positioned 50 meters away from the cleaning station, the ranger station was equipped with a boat engine donated by SEA Centre. Rangers were carefully selected and trained with the assistance of Marine Megafauna Foundation.

Since 2017, the Manta Sandy Ranger Station has been actively supervising and monitoring dive and snorkel activities at Manta Sandy.