INDO UPDATE 8 – SUSTAINABLE SNORKELING TOURISM
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. THE NINTH EDITION IS ABOUT THE RELEVANCE OF AWARENESS AND BRIEFINGS IN SNORKELING COMPANIES AND PROGRESSING AS A TEAM. ENJOY READING
Hello Mantahari Community! I just wanted to remind you... That we are half away in 2022 already... Can you believe that?! Time flies by so fast when you're busy growing and challenging yourself, hey?
During the month of May, we focused on stereophotogrammetry data collection (a way to measure things using the differences between videos recorded using twin cameras) and data processing, as well as starting to increase local snorkel operators regarding sustainable tourism practices. We aimed to do more stereophotogrammetry data collection at Manta Bay, the proposed manta ray nursery. Getting repeated measurements of individual manta rays in Manta Bay will help us understand smaller manta rays' growth rates and changes in their habitat as they grow.
As for our tourism project, we have collected a lot of boat behavior observations and tourist surveys from Nusa Lembongan and Penida. Around half of the survey respondents said that they did not receive any information and briefing regarding manta ray behavior and code of conducts. Other than sharing their experience with us, they also gave recommendations of what could be improved based on their snorkeling experience. Most of them recommended having dedicated briefings regarding safety, manta rays, and marine life, as well as regarding the expected conditions of the ocean.
We are now ready to socialize with the local snorkel operators! We have contacted government officials who will help us socialize (hopefully sometime this or next month!), as well as started distributing manta ray Code-of-Conduct posters to the snorkel boats we go out with and having a “heart-to-heart” with them about the importance of limiting the impacts of tourism to manta rays. In addition, we held an in-person talk at Scuba Junkie Penida. After so many virtual talks, it was a pleasure to speak in person to a full house! We're looking forward to having more offline talks in the upcoming months!
Writing this made me look back to around a year ago, when we first had our two interns, Aulia and Maul, and seeing them now made me realize just how much they've grown as capable researchers ! Aulia is currently training our two new interns (I'll tell you more about them in an upcoming post!), and Maul is finishing his undergraduate thesis with hopes of coming back next month and helping with the new interns too.I have also realized the progress I have made, in learning and developing protocols for stereophotogrammetry data collection and processing, project administration, and preparing for my Master's studies that I will start this case!
To learn more about our projects and support our work, please click the links! For more updates on our fieldwork sessions, follow us on Instagram (Microplastics and Megafauna, Marine Megafauna Foundation)
I am especially grateful to those who have supported this work, including Mantahari Oceancare, Rufford Foundation, Foundation Fortuna, MMF Canada, dive operators in the Lembongan Marine Association, and many more caring people We couldn't have done it with you! – Janis Argeswara
We hope you enjoyed the latest installment of the Indo Update, we look forward to your feedback!.