We went looking for Manta Rays in Komodo, but you will never expect what happened next...
Soon before we know it, June will rock around and it will be time to head back from Raja Ampat to Komodo again. Why should this get you excited? Manta Rays in Komodo is the Answer. If 2017 is the year of the rooster, 2016 was the year of the Manta, and we are expecting it again this season.
If you have dived into Komodo before, then the name Karang Makassar or Manta Drift would be a stand out from your trip. Explosive manta displays a plenty characterized the 2016 season in Komodo. One of our charters was even lucky enough to witness a Manta mating trail chain in action here. Another great highlight was the black color morph Mantas that can be found at this site.
So why so many Mantas? As well as the breeding, this is a prime spot for Manta feeding. This area has a combination of strong currents and upwelling in the water column. The colder, deeper water, is rich with nutrients which feeds the base of the food chain. When this comes up to divers levels it brings an increase in the plankton, small fish and crustaceans that are a smorgasbord for the Mantas. The Manta Rays move around the north and the south of Komodo, migrating to areas where the currents and upwelling provide the best feed.
Another reason that is speculated to have caused an increase in the Manta numbers is a change in Indonesian legislation to protect Mantas, introduced in 2014. The increased numbers, could be a direct result of the Manta fishing and export ban. It’s early days, and research data is required to confirm anything, but we have our fingers crossed that this is a good sign of things to come. Stay tuned, our next blog will look into this in more depth.
If you’d like to be as lucky as our guests on the 2016 charter, and have the chance to witness a Manta mating trail chain, or get that rare photo of a black color morph variation, you can book onto a Komodo charter now. La Galigo liveaboard is now taking bookings for the 2017 Komodo dive season, and we have a feeling deep down in our bones its going to be another bumper season.