Manta Ray ResearchEast Coast, Australia
Manta Ray Research on Australia's east coast
Manta Ray Research
Reef manta rays are listed as vulnerable with the population trend of these gentle giants declining. Overfishing is the most direct threat to the species, followed by the indirect effects of diminishing ocean health affecting their once prosperous reef habitat.
Project Manta has been actively researching manta rays in Australian waters since 2007 and has produced scientific output that has been used to inform management bodies both on a local and global scale.
SCIENCE TO THE RESCUE
Now based at the University of the Sunshine Coast and working in conjunction with the CSIRO and Manta Trust, Project Manta is undertaking research activities including acoustic and satellite tagging to observe migration patterns and genetic sampling to determine population size and connectivity to locations in Australia and internationally. Tools such as plankton tows and satellite oceanography are used to investigate feeding and movement behaviours. Wildlife Warriors supports this vital conservation work by providing its research vessel Croc One as the platform for teams completing fieldwork.
A LIFELINE FOR THE MANTA RAY
By completing this vital research Project Manta can identify key habitats, determine how many are there, examine behaviour and habitat use, identify bursary areas and also assess threats from commercial fishing, bycatch and boat traffic and if the current levels of protection are adequate for the conservation of this vulnerable species.