What is it about?
Conservation through Research, Awareness and Education. The Manta Mission takes a multidisciplinary approach to the worldwide conservation of manta rays and their habitat through robust science and research, while raising awareness and providing education to the general public and community stakeholders alike.
Join a manta ray conservation party on an upgraded luxury vacation package at Manta Ray Bay Resort. Yap is one of several research sites with Manta Trust – for one week leading manta ray and shark scientists will host a “hands-on” citizen science field research symposium and media event.
- Learn from and study with leading manta ray conservation scientists in the field
- Upgraded dive package with daily workshops, media presentations and research diving
- Participate in Manta Ray ID photography, measurements and data collection
- Workshops, research and eco-tours mixed with the dive plans
- 16 tank package with Nitrox, mandarinfish, night and shark feed dives – Best of Yap
Yap promises to deliver a memorable experience not only by it’s resident manta ray population – the colorful traditional Yapese lifestyle and booming reef shark population make for a unique dive experience.
Yap offers travelers a relaxed diving experience in small groups on exclusive dive sites and the most intact culture in Micronesia – the opportunity to see and experience traditional attire, food and dance is included.
“This is an rare opportunity for divers to dive with manta rays together with the scientists who study them. You’ll get to see the type of equipment we use, how we gather information and how its processed. We planned this event to take place during manta mating season, the most active time of year where close interaction with multiple animals is nearly assured – we are hoping to get a lot of valuable information. During the day you’ll dive with mantas and over the pristine reefs surrounding Yap, in the afternoon you’ll attend workshops to learn about megafauna, and in the evening you get to see pictures of these amazing animals. Not only will you be learning about mantas but also their very close relatives the mobula, sharks and other marine mammals. We hope everyone will come away from this experience awed by the ocean and its creatures with a deep appreciation for Yap and love for it’s people and culture.”
Dr. Kathy Townsend
Dr. Kathy Townsend is the lead scientist for Project Manta, a scientific study of the manta rays of Australia. This multi-award winning* academic is based at The University of Queensland’s, Moreton Bay Research Station on North Stradbroke Island and has been featured in multiple international documentaries, including BBC’s “David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef”, National Geographics Wild’s “Manta Mystery”, ABC’s “Bushwacked” and Discovery Channel Canada’s “Project Manta” (to name a few).
Born and raised in Switzerland, I left the mountains in 2006 to fulfill my childhood dream of studying marine biology and have since lived, studied and worked in Australia, Indonesia and Palau.
My project is the first study of the Eastern Indonesian shark fishery at the community level. My aim is to investigate the interconnectedness of sharks as a group fulfilling critical roles in marine food chains, and groups of people whose livelihoods have come to depend on sharks and their fins. The main goal of this research is to identify options and obstacles for effective shark management in Indonesia, the world’s biggest harvester and exporter of shark fin.
Dr. Steve Lindfield
Steve is a research scientist at the Coral Reef Research Foundation. He completed his PhD through the University of Western Australia and has dived throughout Micronesia, including fish surveys at Yap’s remote outer islands. He is a specialist in the use of stereo-video techniques for counting and measuring the size of fish, including manta rays, and is particularly interested in spawning aggregations and coral reef fisheries. When diving, Steve will use a closed circuit rebreather so that fish are not disturbed by the noise of bubbles which also allows him to dive deeper and stay longer underwater. He will share some amazing photos and videos from around Microneisa and highlight the importance of fisheries research in the region.
Guy Stevens (scheduled, not confirmed)
In 2005 he founded the Maldivian Manta Ray Project with the aim of helping to conserve the Maldives’ manta population through active research and education. Guy’s conservation efforts in the Maldives have led to the creation several Marine Protected Areas at key manta aggregation sites. In 2011 Guy founded the Manta Trust. A UK registered charity, the trust’s mission is to advance the worldwide conservation of mobulid rays and their habitat through robust science and research, raising awareness and providing education, influence and action. Guy is now working towards the completion of his PhD. on his manta research at the University of York in the UK. Guy and his conservation efforts have also featured in over a dozen TV documentaries; including a BBC Natural World Special, National Geographic Worldwide & ABC’s “Project Manta”, ITV ‘s “Man to Manta”, Channel 4’s “Big Fish Fight”, 60 minutes Australia and the BBC’s “How Life Works”.