Freediving with Mobula Rays in the Sea of Cortez: A Guide to Respectful Interaction
Updated: Jun 12
The Sea of Cortez is home to one of the world's largest aggregations of Mobula rays, making it a popular destination for scuba divers and freedivers. These magnificent creatures are known for their acrobatic jumps out of the water and their size, with the largest species, the Giant Mobula, growing up to about 11.5 feet in wingspan. Interacting with them in the wild is a truly awe-inspiring experience, but it's important to do so in a way that respects the animals and their habitat.
Here are some tips for freediving with Mobula rays in the Sea of Cortez in a responsible and respectful manner:
Respect their space: Mobula rays are wild animals and need their space to feel safe and secure. When freediving with them, give them plenty of room and do not chase or touch them. If a Mobula ray comes close to you, remain calm and still.
Avoid disturbing their feeding: Mobula rays are often seen aggregating in the Sea of Cortez to feed on small fish and plankton. Do not interfere with their feeding by diving into the middle of a feeding frenzy or using flash photography. This can disrupt their feeding behavior and cause them stress.
Be mindful of your fins: Mobula rays are very sensitive to touch and can be easily frightened by the movement of fins. When diving with them, try to swim with gentle, slow movements and avoid flapping your fins.
Use environmental lighting: Flash photography can be very disruptive to Mobula rays and can cause them stress. If you want to take photos, consider using environmental lighting such as natural light or a red light.
Follow the guidelines set by local authorities: Different countries and marine protected areas have different regulations and guidelines for freediving with Mobula rays. Before diving, familiarize yourself with these guidelines and make sure to follow them. If you want to know more about mobula conservation and guidelines, please check https://www.mobulaconservationproject.com
It's important to remember that Mobula rays play a vital role in our ocean's ecosystem, and they are facing several threats, including overfishing, bycatch, habitat destruction, and hunting for their gills. By following these guidelines and being mindful of our impact, we can help ensure that future generations have the opportunity to witness these amazing creatures in the wild.
I hope this updated blog provides a clearer understanding of Mobula rays and the importance of respecting these magnificent creatures when freediving in the Sea of Cortez.