Categorized | Environment, Featured

Record number of manta rays spotted off Kona Coast

Photo courtesy of James L. Wing

Photo courtesy of James L. Wing


An all-time, new record of manta rays were seen in one single night on the Kona Coast.

A total of 46 manta rays were seen in Makako Bay (airport location) during the Sept. 21 night dive and an additional 5 mantas were encountered at the Keauhou site.

A total of 51 manta rays is the highest number of manta rays ever seen since the Manta Ray Experience started back in 1991.

Although recently the manta industry has got some “bad press” and continues to struggle with growing pains and over-saturation of participants, the overall manta population appears to be thriving.

The high number of sightings is due in part by the on-going efforts of Green-listed companies along the Kona Coast who strive to create a safe environment for the mantas as they feed.

The Manta Experience has attracted people from all over the world. It establishes Kailua-Kona as a world-class venue where participants of all ages can see and passively interact with these rare and majestic creatures.

The Manta Ray Advocates – James L. Wing, Martina S. Wing and E. Ryan Leinbach – is a team of professional underwater photographers that collectively have more than 50 years of experience with the Kona manta rays.

They film, observe, document, and maintain a vast data base of information about the manta rays. Their passion for the manta rays knows no bounds. They provide current, real-time manta reports, forecasts and keep meticulous records on sightings, behaviors, pregnancies, injuries and other interesting facts.

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One Response to “Record number of manta rays spotted off Kona Coast”

  1. Fact Checker says:

    Growing pains is right! Over a dozen boats at Keauhou with several hundred divers in the water. No wonder only 5 mantas were spotted there. My first dive at that spot in 1993 had over 25 mantas. And ONE boat. Hmmm, you reason out why the population has decreased.


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