Indo Update 3 – Full Team, Full Dives, Full Databases

In unserer BLOG Kategorie “Indo Update” gibt Janis aus dem Team der MMF in Indonesien Einblicke in deren Arbeit, die aktuell zum Großteil aus unserem MANTAHARI Projekt finanziert wird. In der DRitten aUsgabe berichtet Janis vom letzten Monat in Indonesien. viel Spaß beim Lesen!

Team Indo Mantahari
Team Indo is complete for now again!

Hello Mantahari Community! Feels surreal that we are only two months away from 2022! Makes me think of all the things we have achieved and haven’t achieved this year… Looks like the “self-reflection” season is coming soon, hey?

Earlier this month, Maul and Aulia, our two interns who have been with us for three months, left the island. It was a bittersweet moment, but hopefully, if all things go according to plan, we can have them back with us some time next year! With every farewell, there is a hello… And sure enough, our team leader Elitza got back to Bali! Just as she went back into the Nusa Penida waters, she was greeted with clear and warm Manta Point waters, and FIFTEEN manta rays all around the site! Also I got really lucky to see dolphins swimming by me when I was diving in Manta Bay, another manta ray aggregation site mainly used by juvenile manta rays to feed. As much as I love manta rays, seeing other large marine animals gets me excited as well!

While being on land, both Ellie and I spend most of our time in front of our laptops (yes, we still have laptop days!). We use our dry days to process and analyze data, write grants, catch up on back-log data, and learn new things! As I mentioned in the previous blog post, we are currently developing a stereo-photogrammetry measurement method on manta rays to see how quickly they grow (it would be pretty hard to just use a tape measure on free swimming rays to measure the tiny differences over time). Like all things new, we have to be patient in learning how the method works.

scaled instrument MMF
Scaling measurement instruments in the pool

We are currently still in the calibration part of the method, and have been communicating intensively with the developer of the program we are using to measure the manta rays. Fins crossed we get to bring our instrument to measure manta rays for real soon!

In addition, I have been selected as one of the participants in the Sustainable Ocean Alliance Leadership Deep Dive program cohort! It is a six-weeks program of sustainable and effective leadership training, and wow… What can I say? We are four weeks into the program and I have learned so many new things about being a smart communicator, being a communicative leader, and maximizing productivity in a team. I also received one-on-one mentorship with a professional who has had experience in designing policies and regulations from research findings. Interactions and programs like these remind me that being a researcher and conservationist isn’t all about the sciencey part (which I love), but also about building connections with the community (which I still need to learn more about) and building a strong team as well.

So that is what has been going on in the MMF Indonesia HQ lately. With the Bali airport opening to international tourists, we are looking forward to more dive days to collect our manta ray and turtle data.

Once again, thank you to Mantahari Oceancare for supporting our activities here in the soon-to-be-very-rainy Indonesia! For more updates regarding our projects, follow us on Facebook (MMF Global; MMF SE Asia) and Instagram (MMF Global; Microplastics and Megafauna), and go check out our latest Ocean Giants magazine!

Have a fintastic November! – Janis Argeswara

Manta Indonesien
2 out of 15 Mantas on one of the last dives



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