Conservation through Research, Awareness and Education

UK Registered Charity Number: 1145387

A Guide for Responsible Shark & Ray Tourism

The Manta Trust, Project AWARE, and WWF have joined together to bring the world’s first “Responsible Shark & Ray Tourism: A Guide to Best Practice.”


Shark and ray tourism is on the rise globally. If current trends continue, the numbers of shark related tourism could more than double over the next twenty years. The Guide, developed in collaboration with science and industry, aims to create well managed shark and ray tourism operations, conserve species, and benefit local communities.

One in four shark and ray species is facing an increased threat of extinction due primarily to overfishing. Responsible shark and ray related ecotourism can be a powerful, complementary conservation strategy. It can also serve as an important supplementary source of income benefiting operators and the local communities alike.

Our organisations agreed that best-practice guidelines were urgently needed. We want to ensure that sites are established and managed in a manner that benefits sharks and rays, as well as local communities, whilst also inspiring awe, respect and a greater appreciation of the need to conserve these animals amongst tourists.

When you commit to best practice, you help build a better future for sharks and rays as well as your local community. You can help minimize the adverse impacts of tourism on shark and ray populations and raise awareness to protect shark and rays in your local community!



The Guide, Responsible Shark and Ray Tourism – A Guide to Best Practice, provides a suite of FREE, practical, downloadable tools that can be used by operators, NGOs, local communities and resource managers. It helps you create specific guidelines appropriate to your local circumstances, in order to achieve best practice. It helps you make choices based on the latest scientific research and pave a route that is right for you.





High Resolution

Low Resolution (for slow internet connections)




If you’re looking to develop your own Interaction Guidelines, for your operation, region, or a particular species, you can use the following tools below:

DOWNLOAD: Full Toolkit

If you’re looking for icons/graphics to help develop your own Code of Conduct you can access EPS and PNG icon graphics through the download link below.


Diving Graphics / Icons (light background)
Diving Graphics / Icons (dark background)





Below are the official Manta Trust Best Practice Code of Conduct Instructions. Backed by years of tourism research, we developed these instructions to be relevant and freely available to all manta and mobula tourism hotspots around the world.

However many sites may require additional instructions that are specific to that location or population of mantas (e.g. manta or mobula night-feeding sites). We recommend using these as a base-line to get started, to which your specific Code of Conduct adds to and complements.

Manta Trust Best Practice Code of Conduct:

Instructions for Operators
In-water Instructions for Tourists
Diagram for Divers
Diagram for Snorkelers





We’d love to hear from you. As case studies and science continues to evolve, your own
input and experience is really important to us. You can provide your feedback on the Guide





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© 2017 Manta Trust