The Manta Invasion

manta-underwater-ocean-768x1366One of the biggest fascinations for those seeking scuba diving or snorkeling experiences in the Maldives, is the high likelihood of observing white sharks and manta rays. The Maldivian waters, and in particular Baa Atoll is home to one of the world’s most significant stocks of whale sharks and manta rays. While whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) and Giant Oceanic Manta rays (Manta Birostris) are classified as Near-Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, they can be spotted in local waters along with Reef resident Manta Rays (Manta Alfredi).  Although approximately 5000-6000 Reef Resident Manta Rays make up the majority of the manta ray population, Giant Oceanic Manta Rays with wingspans up to 12 feet can also be observed at specific locations within the country.  As such, “Hanifaru Bay”, a protected uninhabited island in Baa Atoll of the Maldives is one of the world’s hottest locations for such observations.

Manta Ray species and Whale Sharks that can be approximately the size of 40 feet shipping containers are known to visit Baa Atoll throughout the year, but theyhanifaru-bay are particularly well spotted in Hanifaru Bay during the Hulhangu Moosun (South West Monsoon). Such visits in numbers coincides with an annual feeding event, in which returning whale sharks and manta rays feed on high concentrations of zooplankton such as copepods for up to 7 months in between May to November. The spectacular invasion of manta rays and whale shark populations make Hanifaru Bay one of the Earth’s rare spots in which such numbers aggregate to feed. Several Giant Oceanic Manta Rays has been spotted feeding amongst the Hanifaru manta population, while three Mobula ray species and six other species of rays have also been recorded inside the Hanifaru MPA.  Up to 200 manta rays could be feeding off the Hanifaru Bay reefs at a given time, making it arguably the world’s largest Manta Ray feeding area and gaining widespread acclaim as the subject of National Geographic video and photo documentaries.

Although Whale Sharks and Manta Rays were traditionally harvested to reap Manta Ray Feeding Frenzy Source National Geographicprofits from their oil and fins, Baa Atoll has noticeably brought an end to such practices. Although there has been anecdotal information of harmful activities from sources outside the country, such reports mainly relate to accidental killings caused by sea traffic and fishing nets. Such efforts, along with better monsoon factors in Baa Atoll can be attributed to the The Manta Trust’s Maldivian Manta Ray Project (MMRP) recording of an increase in manta sightings by 30% last year, to reach 3,000 sightings. The MMRP report also states that a decline in manta ray population in unlikely, and also refers to encouraging evidence on near future pregnancies.

Various NGOs, stakeholders and the Maldivian government has identified and reacted to potential damages that could be caused by increasing visitor numbers. As such numerous guidelines and rules are being set up and enforced to ensure their feeding habits remain unchanged. Moreover, Hanifaru Bay along with Anga Faru were designated as Marine Protected Areas in 2009, while Baa Atoll was designated as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 2011.

Manta Ray

Exhilarating Adventures

Diving In Gaafu Alif

Escape from the dreary cold winter to the sunny side of life, Maldives. Incite all your senses in these amazing adventures packed packages on our Liveaboards.  What better way is there to explore the Maldives than on these majestic cruises that would take you on a journey of a lifetime. Dive in some of the most amazing waters and marine life.  Our Liveaboards are fully equipped to cater for all your needs and we ensure you that a trip with us would be one that you do not forget.

Liveaboard Tours are customized to ensure that you get the best of both worlds. Dive cruises that provide the opportunity to stop at some of the most famous dive sites in Maldives lets you explore a different environment every day. If lady luck smiles on you, there is a high chance of swimming along with majestic creatures such as whale sharks and dolphins and so on. As a destination that is considered as one of the richest in marine life, there is an ample supply of amazing creatures that you could see in these tours.

Cruising along in the azure blue seas as you soak up the sun in the sun decks, view the distant Islands looming up on the horizons, each island flanked by its own amazing sand banks and alluring crystal clear waters, you have the opportunity to stop by in some of these islands and immerse yourself in the local culture and experience a day as islanders.  At night get ready for an amazing barbeque at the beach with the starry skies overhead.

So join us today, and set sail on a journey that would set your senses alight.

Maldives Diving Liveaboards

The Maldives is one of the renowned top class diving destination. Loved by the dive travelers for its charming natural beauty, the islands are ringed by white sandy beaches leading to turquoise waters and reefs where marine life is rich and diverse. We provide divers an opportunity to explore Maldives above and below the surface within our Maldives liveaboards tours. The tours are carried with highly experienced dive guides in charge and focusing on the best dive sites possible to do the tour. Typically diving in Maldives require a minimum number nights of 7 nights . Gives you a full week to explore 2 to 3 atolls of Maldives liveaboard diving. Our Maldives diving Liveaboards vessels comes with hospitable crew, with years of experience in serving divers and tourists, caters to your needs and ensure that you have a wonderful time in the Maldives.

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