Indo Update 5 – Manta Madness & Training Updates

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. IIn der sechstnen Ausgabe gibt Janis euch einige Updates über das Team Training und berichtet von Tauchgängen voller Mantas. Viel Spaß beim Lesen!

Hi there Mantahari community! It’s been a while, but I hope February treated you well! 

Team Training on Nusa Lembongan

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.

Manta ID in the making

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), Facebook (MMF Global; MMF SE Asia) and check out our 2021 Annual report!  

Once again, thank you so much to Mantahari Oceancare for constantly supporting our activities! We couldn’t do it without your support! – Janis Argeswara


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