Probably no one where is the real home of Manta Ray, a beautiful and gentle, giant creature. Well, it is living in subtropical and tropical waters and migrates across open oceans, so many people could see it somewhere, enjoying its freedom.
There are some lucky ones, I mean both mantas and people, also in the Philippines. That’s because manta rays can be easily spotted while diving in Bohol, Visayas, Philippines, and they definitely make all the divers happy.
Yes, that’s true. When you head to Bohol and go for diving around Pamilacan island, you can join the lucky ones and be amazed by that huge underwater “bird”.
They are also called “sea devils” due to their a bit devilish appearance. Two horn-shaped cephalic fins by their head as well as large mouths cause it. They also possess venomous spines that can inflict wounds, thus, making them dangerous, but actually rays are totally harmless
Diving with mantas can be really spectacular. Mantas are quite curious creatures and like to observe divers and swimmers, circulating around them. Not to eat any human of course, as they eat zooplankton only. Well, actually huge amount of it, like 13% of their body weight weekly, and their weight usually reaches 2 tonnes!
The biggest spotted manta ray so far was 9.1 meters in width, however usually they reach up to 7 meters in width and they are 3-5 meters long, which is still enough to be impressed by them and remember tropical water diving, including Bohol diving, for ages.
And now the most important and, at the same time, sad part. In 2011 mantas were declared as “vulnerable” by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). That means law strictly protects it and it is highly recommended to pay more attention to sustainable development of fishing and also tourism business. It was observed that total population of giant manta ray decreased by 80% during last 70 years. And that was because of hunting and uncontrolled fishing mainly. Unfortunately Philippines are on top of those culprits and that is simply shame on the country it is depriving itself of what can bring its wealth in wider perspective.
So, happy about your diving in Bohol? Happy what you can see and experience there? Then bare in mind it may be over soon if people act irresponsibly. All of them: fishermen, divers, swimmers, tourists and all people who do not think what they can loose by reaching short-term benefits only.