New Science Alert, Elasmobranch Research, Upcoming Events, Special Offers ... and more!

Scuba Diving in The Maldives


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09 June, 2023

NEW SCIENCE ALERT!

Our new publication 'Use of underwater contactless ultrasonography to elucidate the internal anatomy and reproductive activity of manta and devil rays (Fam. Mobulidae)' takes us on a journey into the mysterious world of manta ray reproduction.

In this study, our team made a ground-breaking discovery of the world's first manta ray pregnancy in the wild, using a contactless underwater ultrasound scanner.

To read the paper, which has been published in the Journal of Fish Biology, click the link below!

Full Paper

National Geographic - The world’s first ultrasounds of wild manta rays reveal a troubling truth

manta rays reveal a troubling truth 2023

Read the recently released article written by Melissa Hobson for National Geographic about the Manta Trust's ground-breaking discovery of the world's first manta ray pregnancy in the wild using a contactless underwater ultrasound scanner.

"Froman and the team have been using new contactless ultrasound technology to identify early-stage pregnancy in reef mantas, a key piece of information for conserving the species, which the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists as vulnerable to extinction. This technology allows researchers to examine an animal’s internal anatomy while minimizing stress."

National Geographic Article

Elasmobranch Research in Lhaviyani Atoll

Lhaviyani Atoll, maldives 2023

During the southwest monsoon, the Lhabiyani Project base of the MMCP focusses research efforts on mobula rays and other elasmobranch as we have fewer manta sightings in this season. This year, with assistance from a visiting MSc student from the University of Plymouth, we will be investigating the population dynamics of our local blacktip reef shark population around Hurawalhi Island Resort. Despite their abundance in the Maldives, reef shark research has been surprisingly limited and we are excited to be exploring how the shallow reed and lagoon habitats around small islands like Hurawalhi may serve as nursery environments for blacktip reef sharks. We hope that through both in water surveys and above water drone surveys we will be able to gain insight into the lives of local sharks.

Read More

Festival of Science

Festival of Science

The Manta Trust participated in the University of Exeters' "Festival of Science" this week, where 120 students from primary schools participated! At our exhibit, hosted by Research Officer Jess Haines, the children got to learn more about these enigmatic creatures and virtually swim with manta rays for the very first time. Taking on the role of a manta scientist, they learned how to identify individuals using the unique spot pattern on a manta ray's belly as well as understand how the different body parts help them to feed, swim, breathe, and avoid predators

Upcoming Events

Do you want to become a marine biologist? We have teamed up with Speakers for Schools to run a virtual work experience session so that you can find out more about what it takes to work as a marine biologist.

Online
Application Deadline: June 14th
Event Date: June 30th (10:00 - 12:00 BST)

Join us for World Oceans Day 2023 at the National Maritime Museum, London! Join in on a day of festivities and catch us giving a presentation all about marine megafauna, with a special focus on mantas!

National Maritime Museum, London
June 10th

Street Whale Festival in Cameroon

Street Whale Festival in Cameroon

Hosted by the African Marine Mammal Conservation Organisation, which is the Manta Trust's newest affiliate project, this event aims to raise awareness and promote the conservation of whales and other aquatic megafauna species and their habitat through art and scientific discussion forums.

Activities held during the festival include: Scientific forums and topic discussions including topics such as: MPAs, Sharks and Rays, coral restoration, marine governance, blue economy, illegal wildlife trade, protection, research methods, fisheries management, community engagement and more!

This year, we are gathering marine scientists from many countries across the Gulf of Guinea for an elasmobranch network meeting, to collaborate on ways to reduce the threats facing highly threatened sharks and rays in the region.

Thank you so much to everyone that donated to the Manta Trust’s fundraiser for this crucial meeting earlier in the year!

Make sure to follow @ammco_siren and @mantatrust on Instagram or Facebook, for updates about this event!

Cross the Oceans Update!

THE OCEANS ROUTE 2023

After 1 week, Team Manta has already travelled 1,415km, from Mexico heading to our affiliate project in Peru, by participating in 115 activities!

It is not too late to join our team! Would you like to get active this June, whilst raising funds for manta and devil ray research and conservation in Peru? Sign up to our Cross the Oceans challenge today! We will be virtually traveling 5042 km this June with runners, sailors, rollerbladers and many more sports disciplines, from all over the world!

Would you like to support Team Manta? Visit our JustGiving page and help us raise funds for manta and devil ray conservation and research by donating to this fundraiser.

Exciting news from Bora Bora!

Members of the French Polynesia Manta Project observed an incredible feeding event of reef manta rays (Mobula alfredi) in Bora Bora. This is usually only observed several times a year and it was the first time seen by some project members in a year!

The French Polynesia Manta Project is one of our affiliate projects and aims to better understand the population dynamics, ecology, and threats to manta rays in French Polynesia and the wider South Pacific, in order to support effective local management strategies and inform global conservation measures.

Manta Expeditions Special Offers and Last Spots!

Manta Expeditions Special Offers, maldives 2023

Have you ever been to the Maldives?

With an underwater world of pure wonder waiting for you, we have some wonderful offers to share with you, so grab your fins, mask and dive buddies and join us on another epic Manta Expedition.

Details

Join Manta Expeditions to experience mantas like never before while contributing to their research and conservation! Travel to the Maldives, Thailand, Indonesia, Ecuador, Mexico or the Azores, for an unforgettable adventure!

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