Manta Ray Dive Sites

Kona manta ray image credit:

Manta ray dive sites

There has been a rapid increase in interest of commercial night diving and snorkeling activity to view manta rays at multiple sites on the Kona Coast of Hawaii Island. There is now a need for proactive regulation of operations to minimize physical damage to corals. HCRI mapped the benthic habitat surrounding boat moorings at manta ray dive sites. This information will inform DOBOR on future mooring maintenance and location.

Implementing a management program

Since 2014, the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) has investigated concerns relating to rising popularity of manta ray night viewing on the Kona coast. DOBOR is considering new ocean recreation management area (ORMA) regulations (HAR §13-256) specific to Makako Bay (Garden Eel Cove) and the nearshore waters fronting Kaukalaelae Point (commonly known as Keauhou Bay). These regulations are currently undergoing review at both the public and state levels. More information is available through the resources below or at DOBOR Manta Ray Viewing