Maldivian Manta Ray Project
Project Animal(s) : Manta ray, Mobula alfredi
Project Category : Fish
Project Region : Asia
Project Type : Research
Project URL : https://www.mantatrust.org/maldives
Project is timebound? : No
Formed in 2005, the Maldivian Manta Ray Project (MMRP) is the founding project of the Manta Trust. It consists of a country-wide network of dive instructors, biologists, communities and tourism operators, with roughly a dozen MMRP staff based across several atolls.
The MMRP collects data around the country’s manta population, its movements, and how the environment and tourism / human interactions affect them. Since its inception, the project has identified over 4,300 different individual reef manta rays (Mobula alfredi), from more than 50,000 photo-ID sightings – many of which submitted by members of the public via IDtheManta. This makes the Maldivian reef manta population the largest, and one of the most intensively studied populations in the world.
The long-term and nationwide data collected by the MMRP has allowed researchers to record and identify key patterns within this population over time. Not only does this invaluable information improve our understanding of these animals, but it informs their on-going management and protection. Research driven by the MMRP has been directly responsible for protecting mantas and their most critical habitats within the Maldives, but has also played a significant role in gaining protection for populations in other corners of our ocean.
Project Agency : Manta Trust
Project Agency Contact : https://www.mantatrust.org/
Project Researcher : Simon Hilbourne
Project Researcher Contact : https://www.instagram.com/s.hilbourne/?hl=en