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 SEVENTH ISSUE, JANIS REPORTS ABOUT TRIALS TO MAKE THE SNORKEL TRIPS SOMETHING MORE SUSTAINABLE AND TECHNOLOGY UPDATES. ENJOY READING!
How are you Mantahari Community? I hope March has been treating you well!
We have had plenty of days in the water during March, both SCUBA diving and freediving, which is how we like it! We also started a new project (thanks, Rufford Foundation!) to increase the sustainability of snorkeling trips around Nusa Penida. Sustainable practices are critical now that tourism is increasing after years of pandemic restrictions.
By hopping on snorkel boats, we observed how the snorkel operators ran their trips and identified areas for improvement. These trips have been really eye-opening! We observed whether the onboard crew gave safety and marine life briefings during our snorkeling trips and, if yes, how they did it. We also assessed how tours operated at the manta sites, how that aligns with swimming with manta ray best practices Code-of-Conducts and boat safety, and other essential things that a sustainable tourism operator should implement. For example, trip goers were told what to expect about manta ray behavior and that chasing and touching manta rays (any marine life) is a no-no!.
We used our time at sea to continue to perfect the use of stereo-photogrammetry now that we have successfully mastered the instrument optimization phase. Thanks to the help of other marine scientists who have successfully used stereo-photogrammetry, we managed to overcome some of our initial challenges. However, processing post-fieldwork data and collecting data using the stereo-photogrammetry rig is still challenging for me... it's almost half of my size! The next step is measuring manta rays, and we are getting lots of practice, practice, practice!
The good news is there have been plenty of subjects to practice on. Manta rays were all around the cleaning stations and feeding grounds, green and hawksbill turtles were everywhere, and we saw bamboo sharks too! We are so thankful to the dive centers for supporting our work by having us onboard their trips!
In other great news, we have joined forces with the fellow conservation organization Indo Ocean Project and are now busy merging our turtle identification datasets on the Internet of Turtles. With all of the additional data, we are now one step closer to understanding how sea turtles use the waters around Nusa Penida.
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), Facebook (MMF Global ; MMF SE Asia), and check out our 2021 Annual report!
We couldn't have done our activities here in Indonesia without the help of Mantahari Oceancare and the Mantahari Community. Thank you for constantly supporting our activities!- Janis Argeswara
We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Indo Update, we look forward to your feedback!