Our celebration of the Manta season continues this week with an introductory blog about Project Manta, who we hope to work with to promote the research and conservation of Manta Rays in Australia.
Established in 2007, Project Manta is a multidisciplinary study of manta rays that aims to provide much needed biological and ecological information on the species in eastern Australia. This research heavily relies on community support to provide Manta Ray sighting information and identification photographs which help the research team track the species and learn more about their ways.
Adreno is excited to promote this fantastic cause - and you can be a part of it too! Simply take your dive camera out, snap some photos of a Manta, and share your Manta Ray photos with the team. They will add your photograph to a database which includes all pictures of Manta Rays recorded on the Australian coast - a total of about 800 at the moment! Perhaps the coolest thing about this is that if your identification picture doesn't match any of the Manta Rays from their database, you get to NAME YOUR OWN MANTA! That's right, there will be a Manta Ray swimming around that you have named.
Although Project Manta has only been around since 2007, the first sighting data actually dates back to 1994 with a Manta Ray called Taurus. This male Manta was seen just recently off Lady Elliott Island by research team member, Asia. They estimate Taurus to now be around 40 years old!
The ability to track and recognise all of these Manta Rays really helps to contribute not only to their research, but to a better understanding of the species in general. ADRENO applauds Project Manta and the community of ocean goers who help contribute to this vital database.
Keep up the awesome work!