Green List Criteria
To be on the Manta Ray Green List a tour operator must
- 1. DO NO HARM or present a hazardous environment to the Manta Rays.
- 2. PRIORITIZE SAFETY by having medical first responders on scene, an emergency plan and equipment on hand to manage a medical emergency independently.
- 3. DO NO HARM to the aquatic environment (coral reef).
- 4. FOLLOW established Operator Standards as to what is the reasonable and prudent way to conduct the activity.
- 5. EDUCATE visitors as to appropriate passive interaction with the creatures.
Green-listed activity providers do all of the above.
If an activity provider operates outside these criteria, they are not on the Green List. We publish an updated Green List of Activity Providers regularly.
The following is a detailed list of 6x criteria activity providers must follow to be green-listed.
The Activity Provider is green-listed if they do not let those in their charge touch the Manta Rays.
The Activity Provider is green-list eligible if they do not let participants free-dive down onto the Manta Rays.
Activity Providers that DO NOT use any hull lighting are green-list eligible.
Hull lighting is light mounted to the hull in close proximity to boat hardware like: lines- rudders- ladders- engines. These setups greatly increase the likelihood the Manta Rays will suffer from collision injuries.[Sidebar: Hull Lighting is the most disturbing element- yet it is the one easiest to solve. A simple switch from “ON to “OFF”.]
Sometimes smaller vessels and those with viewing windows do not secure to a mooring- or anchor. This is called “live-boating”.
It creates the potential for propeller strikes to humans and Manta Rays.
Live boats are not eligible for the Green List because of the potential for serious injury.
The local community of dive and snorkeling operators functioned in cooperation from the early 90’s until 2012. The activity was centralized so that no group missed out on seeing the Manta Rays (campfire method).
Then certain rogue elements decided to ignore long-established- creature friendly practices and changed the dynamics of the activity by attracting the Mantas to their specific boat and over the coral- away from sandy areas- thus “fragmenting” the Manta Ray show.
Activity Providers are green-listed when they practice the campfire method- by taking their guests to the main viewing area.
Heavy site use requires that vessels sometimes have to anchor on site.
The operator is only eligible to be green-listed if the anchor is situated on sand and not on live coral.