INDO UPDATE 6 – MANTA MADNESS & TRAINING UPDATE
IN OUR BLOG CATEGORY “INDO UPDATE”, JANIS FROM THE MMF TEAM IN INDONESIA GIVES AN INSIGHT INTO THEIR WORK, WHICH IS CURRENTLY FINANCED BY OUR MANTAHARI PROJECT. IN THE SIXTH EDITION, JANIS GIVES YOU SOME UPDATES ABOUT TEAM TRAINING AND DIVES FULL OF MANTA TASKS. ENJOY READING!
Hi there Mantahari community! It's been a while, but I hope February treated you well!
The month started off with us refreshing our underwater and safety skills. Diving safely is important when we are dealing with the current and swells of Nusa Penida's waters. With Maul's help as a 'professional victim', and Two Fish Lembongan's great instructors, Aulia got certified as a PADI Rescue diver! Maul and I also had the opportunity to refresh our Emergency First Responder knowledge. That first week of February was filled with singing the Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive, shouting for help, ketchup blood, and just a lot of laughter.
We also had several opportunities to get to Manta Point and see our flappy friends. The visibility wasn't the best, but the manta rays were all around! There was a point where we were overwhelmed with the number of manta rays, we didn't know which manta ray we should take an ID picture of!
We also got a start on our sustainable tourism project - thanks to a grant from the Rufford Foundation We are surveying snorkel boats within the Nusa Penida Marine Protected Area (MPA) to see how they usually run their tour. This includes briefings on safety precautions, such as entry and exit points, and other boats and propeller awareness; as well as marine life encounter behavior, such as not chasing manta rays, and not stepping on coral reefs. To create the surveys our team brainstormed on the most important information to help snorkel boats give better service and for MPA managers to better understand resource use in the area. We then tested the surveys with several members of the tourism community before heading out on the water. We also looked at a lot of manta bellies as we processed data from our January and early February fieldwork session. There were some pretty fruitful days with one especially epic day standing out where we bagged photos of 42 different mantas!
My research project is really coming along with data from 39 surveys yielding 135 laser-measured manta rays! I am very thankful for the help Aulia and Maul have provided to get me to this stage.
Ending this recap, to learn more about our projects and support our work click the links! For more updates on our fieldwork sessions, follow us on Instagram (Microplastics and Megafauna, Marine Megafauna Foundation)
Once again, thank you so much to Mantahari Oceancare for constantly supporting our activities! We couldn't do it without your support! – Janis Argeswara
We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Indo Update, we look forward to your feedback!