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Rare sighting of 5 metre manta ray in Similan Islands

Maya Taylor

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Photo: Nationthailand

A dive instructor has reported a sighting of a rare giant manta ray in the Similan Islands National Park in Phang Nga province.

Somporn Kaewmaneechote from Sea Turtle Divers says he spotted the marine creature near Ta Chai island while accompanying a group of divers at a depth of about 26 metres. He says the ray was about four or five metres wide.

“When we were coming back up to the depth of 18 metres, we saw a giant manta ray about four or five metres wide passing in front of us, giving us an opportunity to snap a photo of it. We rarely see manta rays of this size around here, and I’m so glad to have seen one.”

Rare sighting of 5 metre manta ray in Similan Islands | News by Thaiger

Photo: Nationthailand

The Nation reports that Ta Chai island had been closed for rehabilitation since 2016 as a result of the large number of tourist boats that had damaged the reef.

The island was opened again earlier this year, with several sightings of rare sea creatures reported, including whale sharks, dolphins, manta rays, and shark rays.

The Head of the Similan Islands National Park, Ruamsin Manajongprasert, says closing the island temporarily has helped its ecosystem to recover.

“The reef has now begun to heal itself. Also, local citizens have been cleaning the beach, which helps reduce the deaths of sea animals caused by eating marine debris.”

SOURCE: nationthailand.com

 

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A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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