At Blue Season Bali we support and adhere to the following Code of Conduct for recreational divers interacting with Mola Mola in Bali. The code was established in consultation with leading Mola Mola experts, scientific researchers, experienced local marine managers, industry representatives and dive guides operating in the area for over 15 years. These guidelines are designed to provide a satisfying and safe diving experience while ensuring the lowest sustainable impact on the Mola Mola population of Bali.
These guidelines, while written for Bali, are applicable to any area where large numbers of divers are interacting with Mola Mola at cleaning stations. The aim of developing the Code of Conduct for interactions is to ensure Mola Mola are able to settle onto cleaning stations without being disturbed. The removal of parasites at the cleaning stations is critical to the health of the Mola Mola. Once settled, the sunfish can remain on station for longer periods, offering better quality interactions for divers.
Voluntary Codes of Conduct have proven vital in managing diver impacts on marine life and habitats in other popular dive destinations including:
With adherence to this voluntary Code of Conduct and Best Practices, the future divers of Nusa Lembongan / Nusa Penida can avoid the necessity for legislation and enforcements involving unwanted punitive fines.
Between October 2004 and August 2005 at Nusa Lembongan / Nusa Penida, overly aggressive divers routinely ousted sunfish from their cleaning stations. These interactions dramatically decreased the time sunfish spent near the shore and greatly limited the number of sightings provided to divers.
Previous records, collected since the early 1990s (i.e. sunfish numbers, locations and behaviour) suggest that in previous years the “Bali sunfish” were present in much higher numbers. More importantly, the fish were more stationary and seemingly at ease at known cleaning stations—routinely the sunfish did not show any reaction to the divers’ observations and remained in their initial position for long periods.
This allowed divers to enjoy the sunfish’s natural behaviour and more often than not an exceptional encounter with this mysterious giant fish. These encounters have given Bali its reputation as a world-class area for diving with the oceanic Mola Mola.
The good news is with a stricter code of conduct in place sighting of these amazing creatures have increased again in recent years, being very close to their pre 2004 numbers