Do SCUBA Divers Impact Reef Manta Ray (Mobula alfredi) Behaviour at Cleaning Stations? An Analysis of Diver and Manta Interactions in the Maldives.


The Manta Trust developed a code of conduct for scuba diving and snorkelling based on quantifiable research to promote responsible tourism; however, research on scuba divermanta interactions remains limited. This study aimed to increase available knowledge on scuba diving with reef manta rays through behavioural analysis of video footage from cleaning stations across the Maldives and to determine if the current recommended guidelines are effective at minimizing disturbance by scuba divers. Overall, scuba divers were found to have a minimal impact on reef manta rays at cleaning stations. The main predictors of divers invoking no response from reef manta rays were maintaining a distance greater than three meters from the manta and maintaining a position off of reef cleaning stations.

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Author(s)Nicole Pelletier
Published Date2018
PublisherManta Trust
CMS InstrumentRequins