Big Animal Research

_DSC4527 Julie Hartup is back on island for Thanksgiving week, more manta research and data collecting as well as some general yapping around.

The Manta Ray Bay helps this project with daily ID shots and maintaining a manta interaction logbook.

Each time a manta is encountered on a dive, if possible, an ID shot is snapped and mental notes are taken for the logbook. Recording their behavior and any noticeable status; recent injuries, pregnancy, etc.




As part of Julie’s research she assists Yap state by offering her understanding of our Mantas that will help guide the legislation protecting them.

This week the Yap State EPA and the Department of R&D held their first meeting on drafting the regulations of the original 2008 manta ray sanctuary law with some legal assistance from the Australian government.

The more we know, the better we can turn things in their favor.


_DSC4617 Julie made it her lifestyle to uncover the lives of south Pacific mantas.

This week in Yap she brought her para-laser gear to track sizes and show growth of mantas already in her database as well as record new animals.

One of her favorite sightings is a juvenile manta that she’s still trying to determine the gender of.

Last year she first recorded a baby manta, and it appeared again this week in her media log – a good sign for the Yap manta population.



Unmanned Monitoring

One of the many research questions is what the dive site looks like when nobody’s diving there.

Part of the week’s dive plan included the drop-off and pick-up of strategically placed action cameras mounted on dive weights in the lagoon.

The main cleaning station, the old cleaning station, the main channel’s ridge and a couple of “this looks like a good spot” locations were all under a watchful eye.

Over eight hours of footage per day are coming off of the reef. Some of it shows the exact same thing; cleaning mantas, a turtle, fish… but the camera on the ridge brought back a surprise.



Something Discovered

The interesting media discovery was grey reefs in big numbers with fresh mating cuts in the channel – another Yap diving awesomeness indicator.

For a researcher, that’s all good news.

Baby mantas being cleaned in the lagoon and mating grey reefs in the channel.

It appears that the big animalness of diving this island is on the up and up.

Out on the reef it shows, multiple animals are coming in and we’re seeing mating trains enter and leave the channel. It starts now and will continue until next summer, it’s mantas just over head, everyday.


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Availability & Reservations

Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly
11:27 21 Mar 18
We stayed at the hotel and dove with Manta Ray divers in early December 2017. The hotel is very comfortable, well run and staffed with wonderful employees. During our visit my wife came down with an illness and the consideration and support from the hotel and dive staff could not have been more
Sandy Stinson
Sandy Stinson
16:03 03 Mar 18
The staff couldn't be more friendly and accommodating. Food is good, (worth upgrading to include all meals). Diving is good more
Alex Divinsky
Alex Divinsky
17:24 01 Jan 18
The best place to stay in Yap. The resort is really nice and clean, the scuba diving is great, and the docked ship that houses the bar, restaurant, and movie screen is very cool. I really enjoyed my stay more
10:44 01 Jan 18
Offers one of the best accommodation service. It also has a uniquely designed restaurant.
Yi-Hsin Lin
Yi-Hsin Lin
00:53 21 Feb 17
The whole place centers around the scuba diving operation. Probably better to find somewhere else if you're not a diver. The dive operation was generally good, but a little too laid back - schedules weren't always clear, and sometimes would change without any notice. Sometimes it was hard to tell if this was really because of changing tides/weather or because of the island pace of life. Pizza is a surprisingly good option at the more
William Myers
William Myers
21:01 21 Jul 18
Great hotel. Have stayed twice.
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