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Extent and economic value of manta ray watching in maldives

Lookup NU author(s): Anne-Marie Kitchen-Wheeler


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Manta rays, Manta alfredi, are a major attraction for tourist divers and snorkelers in the Republic of Maldives (central Indian Ocean). The aims of this study were to assess the extent and economic value of manta ray watching in the Maldives, by surveys of tourist numbers at manta diving sites, and from interviews with experienced divers. Ninety-one manta dive sites were identified, where tourists made an estimated 143,000 dives and over 14,000 snorkels annually during 2006-2008. This was estimated to be worth about US$8.1 million per year in direct revenue. The growth of manta ray watching has provided support for both research and conservation in the Maldives. However, there are indications that at the most popular manta dive sites the large numbers of visiting divers and snorkelers may be having a negative impact on manta numbers. There is a need for improved tourist education, and perhaps for regulation of diver numbers at some sites. © 2010 Cognizant Comm. Corp.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Anderson R, Adam M, Kitchen-Wheeler A, Stevens G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Tourism in Marine Environments

Year: 2011

Volume: 7

Issue: 1

Pages: 15-27

Print publication date: 01/01/2011

ISSN (print): 1544-273X

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: Cognizant Communication Corporation


DOI: 10.3727/154427310X12826772784793


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