Diving with Mola Mola and Manta

Diving the wonders of Penida Islands

Divers from all over the world come to Bali and the surrounding islands to enjoy some of the best dive spots in the region. Particularly fascinating are the encounters with the Sunfish (Mola Mola) and the Manta Rays.

In order to protect those species and their habitat a cooperation between the Coral Triangle Center (CTC), the Indonesian Government, and Gahawisri Imata has created the following code of conduct for divers and dive schools.

Oceanic Sunfish (Mola Mola) and Manta Ray Interaction - Code of Conduct

These guidelines are designed to provide a safe diving experience while ensuring the lowest impact on the sunfish and manta ray population of Bali. The aim of developing the Code of Conduct for Sunfish and Manta Ray interactions is to ensure Sunfish and Manta Ray are able to settle onto cleaning stations without being disturbed. Once settled, the Sunfish and Manta Ray can remain on station for longer periods, offering better quality interactions for divers We encourage wide dissemination of these guidelines by all all dive centers.

Download Code of Conduct Flyer (jpeg)

Diving with the Mola Mola Sunfish

  • Always approach sunfish very slowly within its field of view
  • Stay close to the reef and do not surround the Sunfish
  • If the fish are just entering the cleaning station, do not approach until the cleaning has begun and the fish have been stationary for at least 1 minute
  • Maintain a minimum distance of 3m (or 3 body lengths) from the closest
  • Sunfish when animal is at a cleaning station.
  • Maintain a minimum distance of 10 m [or 5 body lengths] when animal is unsettled [not in cleaning) and considering approach to the reef.
  • Do Not Touch and Do Not Feed the Sunfish.
  • Do not swim behind the Sunfish as this can startle the animal.
  • Do not swim under the fish as your bubbles will disturb cleaning behavior.
  • Wherever possible, do not block the Sunfish's escape route to the reef or pathway onto a cleaning station
  • If a Sunfish approaches you remain still and do not touch It. If you touch it you will remove the layer of mucus that protects it against infection
  • Do not use flash photography as this often disturbs the fish
  • Do not use personal underwater motorized propulsion vehicles or make unnecessary loud noises
  • Do not touch coral and take any marine life
  • Only dive with companies which hare endorsed and adhere to the Code of Conduct
  • Follow the directions of your dive guide

Code of Conduct for Manta Ray Interaction

  • Always approach the Manta Ray very slowly within its field of view
  • Stay close to the reef and do not surround the Manta Ray
  • Maintain a minimum distance of 3 m (or 3 body lengths) from the closest Manta Ray when animal is at a cleaning station
  • Maintain a minimum distance of 10m (or 5 body lengths), when animal is unsettled (not in cleaning)
  • Do Not Touch and Do Not Feed the Mania Ray
  • Do not swim behind the Manta Ray as this can startle the animal
  • Do not swim under the fish as your bubbles will disturb cleaning behavior
  • Whenever possible, do not block the Manta Ray's pathway onto a cleaning station
  • If a manta ray approaches you, remain still and do not touch it, if you touch it you will remove the layer of mucus that protects it against infection
  • Do not use flash photography as this often disturbs the fish
  • Do not use personal underwater motorized propulsion vehicles or make unnecessary loud noises
  • Do not touch coral and lake any marine life
  • Stay 3m from the cleaning station rock and do not swim directly above (also for snorkeler)
  • Enter and exit at least 30 m from cleaning station
  • Only dive with companies which have endorsed and adhere to the Code of Conduct
  • Follow the directions of your dive guide

Download Code of Conduct Flyer (jpeg)

Code of Conduct for Dive Operators

  • Distribute the above guidelines Io your dive guides and have them read and distribute them to their diver groups
  • For boats carrying more than 4 divers, stagger the entry into the water to avoid overcrowding the site
  • Restrict diver group sizes ta a maximum of 5 divers and 1 guide with interaction to be controlled by the dive guide
  • Have the capability to anchor in at least 60 meter depth
  • Not to anchor in less than 40 meter unless clearly m a sand area away from reefs and dive sites
  • Not to anchor within marine tourism zone
  • Use mooring buoys when available
  • Communicate with other dive operators. Including land based operators, to arrange dive schedules and minimize having excess numbers of divers in one location
  • Not to purchase threatened or over exploited fish species grouper, coral trout, napoleon fish, parrot fish, giant trevally, shark, lobster and shells
  • Instruct dive guides not to manipulate marine life for the benefit of guests
  • Instruct boat captain to slowly approach the dive site and stay at least 10m away from the surface marker buoy
  • Return all plastics and non-biodegradable garbage to port. Organic materials and waste water will be disposed of well away from reefs
  • It is the responsibility of the captain (by law) and cruise directors as owner representative, to ensure garbage is disposed of properly


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