Explore Manta Rays
The Manta Rays in Hawaii are considered a precious natural resource, worthy of conservation and preservation. In the State of Hawaii, it is unlawful to harm Manta Rays. The local economy in Kona benefits from their well-being; hence, voluntary, informal guidelines are in place to insure Manta Rays are not adversely affected by human interaction.
Each year, thousands of tourists visiting the Big Island embark on the Manta Ray Experience and passively interact with the Manta Rays without altering their natural behavior or harming them in any way.
Generally speaking, Manta Rays are low on the list of conservation efforts by governments. There are simply too many other creatures that are currently getting attention and it is difficult to monitor Manta Ray numbers; even so, efforts have been made by advocacy groups to protect the Manta Rays.
Worldwide, conservation efforts have been put into place to help reduce the number of Manta Rays being killed for any reason.
Some governments do have the Manta Ray on their list of threatened species (not the United States). This is due to the low rate of reproduction, combined with a high mortality rate. The young offspring are vulnerable for the first couple of years. Many of them do not reach maturity. Manta Rays are also exposed to harm through chemicals and toxins in the water, as well as being unintentionally harvested due to by-catch fishing practices.
Besides following the aforementioned guidelines of the experience, we encourage you to adopt the "sustainable fish resource policy" for your own shopping list and know where the fish you eat comes from. We, as the consumer of fish products offered in stores and restaurants, can control what we purchase.