The UK-registered charity has made it their mission to fight for a sustainable future where manta rays and their relatives can thrive in healthy marine ecosystems.
A diverse group of researchers, scientists, conservationists, educators, and media experts work together in order to promote knowledge about these magnificent animals. By combining research, education, and collaboration the Manta Trust is aiming at creating a healthy marine environment.
Manta ray research and conservation depends on long-term and large-scale datasets. We collect data on manta ray populations by taking ID photos. Each manta has a unique spot pattern on their bellies which helps us to collect valuable information on each individual. We receive ID pictures from our researchers, dive professionals, and tourists alike. Please email your manta ID shots to us and we’ll get back to you with details about the manta you’ve seen.
In Lhaviyani Atoll we have identified 378 individual reef manta rays. The population is split almost evenly by sex with 191 females, 182 males and 5 individuals for which the sex could not be determined. 52% of the Lhaviyani reef manta ray population are adults and 48% are juveniles. Of these Lhaviyani Atoll mantas, 314 individuals have been sighted more than once, and 149 have been seen in at least one other atoll in the Maldives. The Manta Trust researchers join regular guest snorkel excursions with Prodivers in search for manta rays and to collect valuable data on these charismatic animals.
The charismatic manta rays act as flagship species for our oceans which helps to motivate and engage people with the wider message of marine ecosystem conservation. Through this top down approach, the manta ray becomes the catalyst for change, educating people about the solutions needed to ensure the long-term survival of these animals and the underwater world we rely upon.
After several years of research conducted in the Maldives, the Manta Trust have developed a Best Practice Code of Conduct for Manta Ray Tourism. These guidelines outline how divers and snorkelers should behave in-water, to both enhance their experience and to ensure their presence does not disturb the mantas they encounter. In addition, it includes recommendations for tourism operators on how best to approach and depart manta aggregation sites, and how to help their crew manage a manta excursion.
In 2017, in collaboration with the local NGO Naifaru Juvenile, a ten-week Marine Education Programme (Nature Club) was launched, and the resulting curriculum shared with the principle of Lhaviyani Atoll Education Centre. The Nature Club, which aims to deepen the knowledge and awareness of young Maldivian students, took place again in 2018.
With a network of over 20 projects worldwide, we specialise in collaborating with multiple parties to drive conservation as a collective; from businesses and governments, to individuals and local communities.
The Manta Trust researchers based on Hurawalhi work really close with the Olive Ridley Project researcher based on Kuredu. With great support from the Prodivers teams on both islands we manage to collect and share research on both turtles and mantas.
Hurawalhi Marine Center
The Marine Center at Hurawalhi is a must-visit place for guests who are inquisitive about life in the ocean! Aside from being on hand to help guests find out more about the Maldives’ marine life, the two resident marine biologists from Manta Trust conduct manta ray research and they are also working on an exciting new coral nursery project. Come and learn more about the marine life of the Maldives.