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Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

st. louis, mo
Level Contributor
11 posts
2 reviews
Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

I have friends doing the snorkel for the manta rays and I'm torn between diving vs snorkeling... Thoughts?

Palm Springs...
Level Contributor
11,468 posts
126 reviews
11. Re: Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

well put Fuzz... sadly people will spend their money to satisify their own personal wants with out a thought of the impact their actions may have.

Pretty sad commentary

Ill bet seal clubbing could be exciting too, if you visit Canada...

Tampa, FL USA
Level Contributor
128 posts
59 reviews
12. Re: Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

We did it in early June, with Scuba Shack. I think the same boat could easily take snorkelers and divers, and that the fare wouldn't be much less for diving than snorkeleing.

It did not feel too crowded when we did it, 25 divers (from 4-5 different boats). 15-20 Mantas. Mantas are free to swim the whole ocean, they aren't being held captive nor artificially fed - much less clubbed like baby seals. We did weight ourselves heavily and sit on the bottom, so there is a small area of damaged coral - looked rather like an underwater dance floor. That bothered me, but I suppose any human use of the ocean inflicts some damage and that mooring buoys are used to help minimize it.

The boat captains and an independent videographer seem to be conscientious and ecology minded, we heard one story of a Manta that had been badly hurt by fishing line being helped. I wouldn't participate in nor recommend an activity that I thought was harmful to such beautiful creatures. That dive was a highlight of our trip and I highly recommend it.

The ethics of enjoying animals are hard to sort out. I'd suggest that paying admission to zoos, buying puppies, and eating meat are all greater moral hazards than diving with Mantas. But ymmv.

Level Contributor
31 posts
3 reviews
13. Re: Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

I'm with you Dan and Fuzz. We will be visitng the Big Island for the first time in Sept and will not be trying to intentionally invade the habitat of either dolphins or rays to get our own personal up close experience.

Of course operators are going to "seem" ecologically conscious - its called green-washing and you are the problem if you buy in to it.

Tampa, FL USA
Level Contributor
128 posts
59 reviews
14. Re: Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

Hey, enjoy the view from that high horse you are riding - oh, wait, you wouldn't exploit horses would you? Agreed that not all tourism employees behave as environmental stewards, but the ones we encountered on this trip did (not so a photographer on Honolulu who assaults an octopus for the "pleasure" of snorkelers)

How can you even go to Hawaii and pretend to be thinking green - how many gallons of fossil fuel will it take to get you there? Will you be eating (vegetarian) foods shipped in from California? I hope you wouldn't support the coffee industry there, they displaced native plants, you know.

Anyone who is interested in Mantas can learn more about them from http://www.mantapacific.org/mantapacific/ An interesting article is here kohalacenter.org/Leaflet/Nov08/TKCleaflet110…

OP: Of course operators are going to "seem" ecologically conscious - its called green-washing and you are the problem if you buy in to it.

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
15,604 posts
312 reviews
15. Re: Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

I'm not green. But I do object to getting pleasure from exploiting wild animals.

And hey, isn't if just NEAT the way the Everglades turned out? I used to live in Florida.

Level Contributor
174 posts
135 reviews
16. Re: Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

We did the Manta Ray Dive/Snorkel with Big Island Divers in July of 2008.

My husband and teens did the dive and I did the snorkel. There were about 3 other boats out there besides ours. If you don't dive, the snorkel is good if you are with a group and you do see them and they do come close. The dive boat had a videographer who sold us a DVD of the diving portion and it was fantastic. My husband and kids were sitting on the bottom and the mantas kept swimming and looping just above their head.

The dive master and videographer on the boat showed us pictures of the mantas prior to the dive and pointed out how to recognize the different mantas. They had names for each of them and there were about twelve the night we dived but it seemed like 40.

Level Contributor
19 posts
4 reviews
17. Re: Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

Heres a good deal for that. Its ussually about $70. www.alohamonthly.com/coupons.php…

Palm Springs...
Level Contributor
11,468 posts
126 reviews
18. Re: Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

It sounds totaly normal...15 to 20 mantas in an area several hundred yards wide... with only 4 to 5 30 to 60 ft boats and 25 divers snorkelers....

Just as nature intended.... You know like Bears around a garbage dumpster... totaly normal..

If the mantas were not so trained and habituated by the powerful lights... and increased feeding, by humans...... then why are these "free to swimm" the sea

Mantas all drawn to this one teeny tiny spec of ocean.. Totaly healthy....

Sorry to interject reality into someones blind desire....

19. Re: Manta Rays: SCUBA or Snorkel?

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