Mantas of Makunudhoo and other manta news this month
Scuba Diving in The Maldives
17 June, 2022
Mantas of Makunudhoo
In March 2022, the Maldivian Manta Ray Project - Manta Trust team embarked on an expedition to one of the most remote northern islands of the Maldives - Haa Dhaalu, Makunudhoo.
The team spent one month on a fishing boat, searching for manta rays, and documenting the reefs of Makunudhoo. They collected identification photographs, conducted aerial surveys, deployed remote underwater video and time-lapse cameras, and interviewed fishermen to discover local historical knowledge of this species.
The most rewarding part of the trip, for the team, was being able to work so closely with the Makunudhoo community. They ran outreach and education sessions with local stakeholders such as council members, police, and the women’s development committee. They also conducted marine education classes in the school and took community members swimming with mantas for the first time.
The Manta Trust would like to say a huge thank you to the community of Makunudhoo for their hospitality, kindness, and wealth of local knowledge. They would also like to thank Carl F. Bucherer for funding this trip and continuously supporting the Manta Trust!
NEW MANTA NURSERY UNCOVERED
An 8-year study by Edy Setyawan and their team has confirmed the existence of a reef manta nursery in Wayag Lagoon, Raja Ampat. Following the first identification of this nursery in 2014, the research team used telemetry to provide the most comprehensive description to date on the behaviour and movement of juvenile reef manta rays in the nursery.
Huge congratulations to the team for this massively exciting new paper, which is now published and available to read at here and a short video is available to watch above.
CAMEROON MOBULA CONSERVATION
Our team have just come back from an exciting and fascinating trip to Cameroon to work alongside the African Marine Mammal Conservation Organisation (AMMCO). The Manta Trust team were particularly interested in some devil ray specimens found in the local fish markets by the AMMCO team. However, following the success of the trip, it is likely we will see this collaboration expand.
VENEZUELA MOBULA STUDY
A recent assessment of fishery landing and citizen science data has been conducted for the mobulid species in Venezuela. The study found the presence of three species (the putative Atlantic Manta Ray, Bentfin Devil Ray, and Spinetail Devil Ray) which hadn’t previously been recorded in Venezuela. Additionally, no records of the West Atlantic Pygmy Devil Ray were recorded. Previous records of this species were based on misidentification.
Resolving taxonomic errors is an important step to understanding the distribution and habitat use of mobulid species. We hope this preliminary study will serve as a source for directed future studies for these threatened species in Venezuela, and more broadly throughout the Western Atlantic Ocean. Read the paper here.
We're Hiring! - Maldives Project Manager
Maldivian Manta Ray Project - Manta Trust is hiring! We're looking for a Project Manager. Applicants must have a BSc (hons) in marine biology/conservation or similar, and PADI Divemaster or equivalent. Visit our careers page for more information on the role, requirements and application process. Read More
Fancy adding some snazzy new clothes to your summer wardrobe and supporting marine conservation at the same time?
This weekend TeeMill will plant a tree for every order made! Also, we have free postage on all UK orders during the first weekend of July.
Head to our shop to check out our online store. As always, please shop sustainably and purchase only what you need.
NEW COMMERCIAL SUPPORTER
We are delighted to welcome Janina Rossiter as a Commercial Supporter for the Manta Trust. She is donating 5% from the sales of her manta ray and eagle ray bikinis and prints to the Manta Trust.
Check out her beautiful products, and all our wonderful Commercial Supporters here.
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