We are looking for citizen scientists to help match manta ray photo-identifications! Want to help out Olowalu manta rays?
Despite laws in Hawaii protecting manta rays from being killed or captured, 1 of 10 manta rays observed at the Olowalu reef suffers from an amputated or severely damaged cephalic fin caused from entanglement in fishing line. We have an obligation to do something about this.
Through the use of sophisticated acoustic and satellite tags, we can identify those critical habitats where Maui’s manta rays are cleaning, feeding, mating, and pupping and address which of those areas pose the greatest threat of entanglement.
Why Care About Manta Rays?
Manta rays are not only giant, majestic beings that have been captivating the hearts and minds of people all over the world for generations, but being plankton feeders, they are an indicator of the health of our primary producers. Much like the canary in the coal mine, healthy manta ray populations signify healthy plankton populations, which in turn signifies healthy oceans for us and our children.
Meet Mahina, which in Hawaiian means “moon”. Mahina is a great survivor, a Mom, and one of the most frequently spotted members of the Maui manta population. She has been spotted pregnant four different times, with as many as twenty-seven males in hot pursuit hoping for a chance to mate with her. Entangled in 2008, her fishing line was cut free. Mahina is one of the lucky ones, these were not so lucky…