Manta rays are a popular focal species within the global marine tourism industry. Their popularity and tourism value helps contribute to increased protection for these majestic creatures.
However, without appropriate management, tourism itself can be detrimental to manta populations. Potential impacts can be minimised by adopting well-designed interaction guidelines.
By giving mantas space, and by interacting with them in a non-threatening way, divers and snorkelers can enjoy much longer and spectacular encounters.
We have developed the following guidelines to help tourists and operators maximise their encounters with manta rays.
MantaWatch is dedicated to the conservation and management of manta rays. Our community of MantaWatch members promote awareness, change and an eventual solution to declining manta ray populations worldwide.
Manta rays are under threat. Unregulated fishing is increasing exponentially, meanwhile mantas' habitats and food are being affected by climate change. This charismatic species - highly prized for its aesthetic and spiritual values - risks being lost, along with its vital role in ocean ecosystems and as an indicator of ocean health. Conservation and management strategies are inhibited by a shortage of scientific data.
For solutions to be found and implemented requires a community approach. The goal of MantaWatch is to foster an active community working to increase awareness and scientific knowledge of this valuable species, and taking an active role in developing environmentally, socially and economically sustainable solutions.
Read more: MantaWatch :: Manta Ray Conservation - MantaWatch http://mantawatch.com
Read more: 7 steps for interacting with mantas responsibly http://mantawatch.com/site/2010/09/7-steps-for-interactin-with-mantas-responsibly/#ixzz1NtW52aVB
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