Learn about Manta Rays
Each year between May and October the waters around the resort are blessed with the elegance of our name sake, the Pacific Manta Ray. As many as 20 manta ray have been recorded in front of the resort at one time. Daily manta ray snorkelling trips allow guests to experience these magnificent creatures up close as they glide majestically through the nutrient rich channel.
The waters around Mantaray Island Resort are an internationally recognised refuge for manta ray.
Where do Manta Rays live?
Manta ray are large beautiful creatures that live in warm temperate waters around the globe. Their side, or pectoral fins, have evolved into wide triangular wings which they use to gracefully propel themselves and glide through the water.
Manta Ray Facts & Figures
Their scientific name is Manta Birostris. In Fijian they are called the “VAI”. With wings spans reaching over 20 feet across, Manta Ray are one of the largest fish in the ocean. In recent years, Mantaray Island Resort has been visited by a manta ray spanning 6.5m! The manta ray in the above image is approximately 4.5m across.
What do Manta Rays eat?
The answer is definitely not you! Due to the strong nutrient rich currents that funnel through the narrow channels around the island, the manta ray are able to access their main food source, plankton, with ease, and in great abundance.
Cousins to the shark, manta may have cartilaginous skeletons that make for their graceful flexibility. Manta ray are filter feeders. They possess cephalic (head) fins that they use to help funnel food and water into their cavernous mouths. Manta ray do not have teeth or a sting on their tail. They are completely harmless to humans, they don’t even eat other fish!
How Long do Manta Rays Live?
No one knows exactly how long Mantas live. But based on known lifespans of closely related (but much smaller) warm-water rays, we estimate that Mantas may live up to 25 years or so.
What is the size of the largest Manta Ray ever found?
Records of giant Mantas are notoriously difficult to verify. The largest reported in the scientific literature measured 22 feet (6.7 metres) across and there is one report of an individual 30 feet (9.1 metres) across. But most Mantas encountered by people are about 12 feet (4 metres) across.
Conservation is key!
Manta ray are slow to attain sexual maturity and have a low birth rate, consequently populations are seriously threatened in many areas of the world. Manta Ray Island Resort is one of only a few places on the globe where people can have an up close and personal encounter with these magnificent ocean creatures.