Help Protect Manta rays with the manta trust
HQ: United Kingdom
The Manta Trust is a UK-registered charity with a mission is to conserve manta rays, their relatives, and their habitats, through a combination of research, education and collaboration. Our global team is comprised of a diverse group of researchers, scientists, conservationists, educators and media experts; working together to share and promote knowledge and expertise.
For the Manta Trust, the Maldives is where it all started. The Maldivian Manta Ray Project was established in 2005 and has evolved into one of the largest and longest-standing manta conservation groups in the world. It was from this project that the Manta Trust was formed in 2011, founded by manta expert Dr. Guy Stevens and National Geographic photographer Thomas Peschak, in order to turn the tide for these enigmatic rays by co-ordinating global research and conservation efforts around manta rays, their relatives, and their habitats. The Manta Trust now brings together over 25 new and established projects from around the world, that drive the research and conservation of mobulid rays as a collective.
Manta and devil rays are among the most charismatic creatures in our oceans. With the largest brain of all fish, their intelligence and curiosity make encounters with these animals a truly amazing experience. Despite their popularity with divers and snorkelers, many aspects of their lives remain a mystery. More worryingly, targeted and bycatch fisheries for these animals have had devastating impacts on populations around the world. Manta and devil rays have arguably become some of the most threatened fish in our seas.
▸ Maldives Oceanic Manta Ray Research Project
Recently, a large population of oceanic manta rays (Mobula birostris) has been uncovered in the Maldives. Worryingly, this area is in close proximity to one of the worlds largest oceanic manta fisheries in neighboring Sri Lanka. Working as part of the Maldivian Manta Ray Project, this study hopes to learn more about this illusive population and their connectivity throughout the northern Indian Ocean.
▸ Maldives Marine Education Program
Educates students at local schools about the environmental issues facing their communities, and provide opportunities to engage them with the solutions and the ecosystems on their doorstep. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that future generations of Maldivians have a personal connection with their marine environment, and an understanding of its importance and the need to conserve it.
The Manta Trust has:
Played a key role in gaining protection for manta rays in the Republic of Maldives.
Contributed critical data and expertise for the re-assessment to “Vulnerable” status of both species of manta on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2011. Following this re-assessment, our collaborative efforts with researchers and other NGOs have seen all mobulid species granted legally-binding international protection in the trade of products sourced from their body parts, under Appendix II of CITES.
Published ‘MANTA Secret Life of Devil Rays’, the world’s first book on manta rays, in 2017.
Aided in the successful adaption of all mobulid species under the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Appendix I & II.
Campaigned and worked with local communities, in collaboration with other NGOs such as WildAid and Planeta Océano, to gain national protection for manta rays in regions with some of the world’s largest mobulid fisheries. Including Thailand and Indonesia.
Created a Global Strategy & Action Plan which outlines what actions need to be taken to ensure the long-term survival of mobulid rays. Whilst global in scope, the strategy highlights how the Manta Trust fits into it all, and the areas where we believe we can be most effective as part of the wider conservation effort.
Fundraising Goal: $20,000
Manta Trust wishes to raise funds to continue their efforts to protect Manta Rays and their habitats.