Giant Manta Ray Spotted near Ta Chai Island, Thailand

News in Asia
Giant Manta Ray Spotted near Ta Chai Island, Thailand

A diving instructor with Sea Turtle Diver Co Ltd. reported having spotted a rare giant manta ray of about 5 metres wide near Ta Chai Island in Similan Islands National Park, Phang Nga province. 

The encounter took place yesterday during the morning diving session at a depth of about 18 metres near Ta Chai Island. Divers were able to take pictures of the manta as it passed graciously right in front of them. Mantas of such a huge size are a rare sight – to encounter one of them is always great luck.

The appearance of giant manta rays near Ta Chai Island is a good sign indicating that the efforts the authorities are putting into rehabilitation of the area start yielding results. Ta Chai Island that is part of Similan Islands National Park, was closed to tourists since 2016 to allow the ecosystem of the island and the sea to rehabilitate as the area suffered greatly from the negative impact of overtourism with numerous tourist boats damaging a fragile coral reef around the island. During the years of closure, the locals were cleaning the beach off the plastic waste regularly thus helping to reduce the deaths of sea animals caused by eating marine debris.

Currently Ta Chai Island is once again welcoming tourists – it has been reopened earlier this year. Since its reopening, the reports of sightings of rare sea animal including dolphins, whale sharks, shark rays and manta rays have become regular.

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