AMA #16 — Manta Trust

AMA #16 — Manta Trust

Photo: Emma Li

If you’ve been tuning in to our weekly AMA over the last few months, you’ll have seen and heard some incredible insights into marine biology, ocean conservation and more. This week’s livestream is no different — we’re extremely excited to welcome Flossy Barraud, Education & Outreach Manager for one of the most active and effective organisations in ocean conservation, Manta Trust.

Focusing, as you might imagine, on mobulids (the group name for what most folks know as rays), the Manta Trust’s work radiates outwards into a wider mission of protecting and maintaining healthy ocean ecosystems. Formed in 2011, the UK charity has built an international team of researchers, scientists, conservationists, educators and media experts, all working towards common goals of conserving mobulid rays, their relatives, and their habitats.

The trust’s work centres around a core objective: “To see all species of manta rays and their relatives protected or effectively managed for sustainable / non-consumptive use by the people closest to them, in a means that promotes wider ocean conservation.” Their impact, however has been both deep and diverse — their work has ensured protected status for rays in the Maldives, largely through the creation of Marine Protected Areas; their data has contributed to the classification of rays as legally protected by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species; their genetics team are working to collate a comprehensive library of mobulid tissue samples from all species of ray in order to develop a global mobulid genetic ID kit; and a proposal submitted to the Convention on Migratory Species CoP12 was accepted, with support from Fiji, Ecuador, India, the EU and the Philippines.

But it doesn’t stop there — the Manta Trust’s three-pillared approach of research, education and collaboration continues to yield important social, environmental and conservation results not just for rays, but for our oceans and marine habitats around the planet. Their work spreads into society, and human attitudes and actions towards our oceans. For example, Flossy is currently leading a pioneering effort to empower women in small island states to engage in conservation through swim and snorkel training.

Tune in to our Twitch channel at 18:00 UTC on Wednesday the 17th November to find out more about Manta Trust, and the huge array of work they do — we’ll also be chatting about SEA, new developments in our work, and stuff coming up, so don’t miss it! And don’t forget to ask your questions for Flossy on our Twitter before the stream — as always, prizes for the best questions.

See you there!

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