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  • Whale Shark

  • Manta Ray

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Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo

Behind the Scenes with Researchers: Manta Rays Private Charter

  • Available from: March 01 2020 - October 31 2020

From: $4,035 USD

Duration: Full Day: Ningaloo Reef

Type: Groups, Private Charter.

Departs: On Request

Interests: Fish & Marine Invertebrates.

Jessica Smith, is a local Marine Biologist who is very active and passionate about Manta Rays and the extraordinary marine life found within the Ningaloo Marine Park. She is actively involved in the Ningaloo chapter of Project Manta, a program set up to collect data on Manta Rays along the east and west coast of Australia.

  • Project Manta was established in 2007 on the east coast of Australia, and expanded nationwide in 2014 to allow the movement between populations of Manta Rays within Australia and neighbouring regions to be better understood.

  • Jess will provide an insight into Manta Rays at Ningaloo and the recent findings since the introduction of the Ningaloo chapter for the project.

  • The following day, guests will be invited to snorkel to capture photos of Manta Rays, identify and process images on the Manta Ray identification database and record behaviours.

About Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo: 

As the region’s original eco-tourism operation, Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo is synonymous with experiencing the aquatic treasures of the World Heritage Listed Ningaloo Reef Marine Park. Debbie & Mark Ferguson have been involved taking ecotours around Western Australia for over 20 years, managing the operations of a number of boats in various locations. The team is proud to specialise in small group tours for Whale Shark swims, Humpback Whale swims & watching, scuba diving and snorkelling and is active in numerous conservation projects including Whale Sharks, turtles and Manta Rays.

Price based on private charter of vessel with up to 14 guests on board. Pricing is subject to availability and all prices, itineraries and routings are subject to change without notice. Currency fluctuations may affect prices as quotes based on AUD. Prices are current at time of posting (9/9/2019) and may differ when you book your travel. Please contact us for our current pricing and itinerary details*


Tour day-by-day

  • Full Day - Research & Conservation

    Project Manta was launched in Australia over ten years, with the aim to increase understanding of the biology and ecology of these fascinating creatures. Manta Rays are one of the most unique and loved creatures in the ocean, but very little is known about their movements and distribution across regions.

    In order to conserve and sustain the current population, it is very important that additional data is gathered to manage the species and protect areas of high ecological importance. Jessica Smith has been actively involved in the Ningaloo chapter of Project Manta and will spend an evening sharing insights garnered since the program’s launch a few years ago.

    This will include discussion about the movement patterns of local Manta Rays, estimates of the local population size, some of the key variables associated with population growth and future projections. Advice will also be given in relation to taking photographs of the Manta Rays that will assist in the photo-ID collection process.

    In order to contribute effectively to the project, it is critical that guests are able to effectively photograph the underside of Manta Rays, as this is where unique spotted patterns are able to be identified, similar to a human fingerprint. Guests will venture out with Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo the following day to search for these magnificent creatures and take photographs according to the advice given.

    Photos will then be integrated into the photographic database to add to the local chapter’s understanding of distribution, sex ratio and growth rates of the population.

    Key Details

    Group Size: Maximum of 14 guest capacity
    Pick-up and Drop Off Point: Exmouth accommodations
    Pick-up and Drop-off Time: 7:30am returning at approximately 4:00pm.

    Responsible Tourism

    As part of our commitment to sustainability we have also sought independent verification of our practices through the ATAP Ecostar Accreditation program. This program is for operators that demonstrate a level of environmental management over and above the base requirements of ATAP including managing impact and disturbance on the environment, contributing to conservation and sustainability, establishing environmental risk management strategies, supporting and benefiting the local community and recognition of the cultural & heritage issues of the area. 

    Ecostar Certification

    Ecotourism Sustainability Logo




    Recent Testimonials

    "Did a snorkling trip to Muiron Island with this group ... very safety aware once fitted out with the gear they gave us a safety talk and explained what to expect ..once on board the boat the skipper also gave us a safety talk .. head counts were done every time we went in and out of the water. The Crew were wonderful nothing ever a problem ..have to give a rap to Jackie she is awesome she was our snorkling guide for the day ..she made sure we were always ok. Great job guys keep up the good work." - Deb, Australia

    "My girlfriend and I booked two tours (Murion island & Humpback Whale swim) with these guys and they really did a great work. The crew was very helpful and nice. We felt safe at all times and saw a lot of the marine life. If we had more time we would do another trip. 100% recommended :)" - Janni, Australia

    "From the moment I got picked up to getting off the boat I was impressed with the professionalism and smoothness of the day. Monica, Kiara (dive guides) and the captain (Mark) showed us the wonders of Ningaloo and we all had an exceptionally fun and exciting day. I highly recommend Exmouth Dive Centre!" - Veronica, Australia


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