Surf, Sand & Bull Sharks – Kicking it off in Laamu!
This year’s Maldivian manta season marks the beginning of a new addition to our Maldivian Manta Ray Project (MMRP)! In this week’s blog, Moosa Mohammed, Assistant Project Manager for the MMRP, discusses some of the epic things that have been going on with our new project down south in Laamu Atoll. I was asleep when I got the call from Niv (our project manager), but after seeing his name on my phone my eyes widened and I jumped out of bed.
Whilst our Maldivian team continue to study the nation’s protected manta rays, our Genetics Project Leader, Emily Humble, shares her first experience of Negombo market in Sri Lanka – host to one of the world’s largest mobulid fisheries. It is the early hours of the morning and a mild smell of fish taints the warm, still air.
Matt’s First Month in the Maldives
We’re over a month into the new Maldivian manta season in Baa Atoll. In this week’s blog our first volunteer, Matt Bidault from England, summarises some of the highlights from his first month in the Maldives. “I have never flown over the Maldives with the islands so crystal clear!” announced the captain on our final approach into Malé International Airport.
Kicking things off with a bang!
Ulithi Trip – Scouting for Mantas in Yap’s Outer Islands
Ahead of the upcoming expeditions to Yap, Project Manager Julie Hartup and the team took an exploratory trip around Ulithi Atoll. Read on to learn more about Julie’s adventure and how you can get involved! Yap manta ray research is not just limited to the manta population in Yap Proper – it extends to the 134 outer islands and 11 atolls too.
Time to clean up
Manta season is about to start in the Maldives, but before they arrive there’s a little spring cleaning to be done. Over to you Niv…..Mantas are on their way…..with the shift in wind direction, from the dry eastern to the humid and strong south-western winds, manta rays undertake their seasonal migration to east Baa atoll, and especially to one of their favourite aggregation sites, Hanifaru Bay; a five star restaurant for these gentle giants!
The edge of the Sahara
This week we rejoin Isabel and Daniel for the final installment of their research trip in western Africa but things aren’t going quite as planned….For the last week we’ve been traveling along the coast of Morocco, visiting fish markets from glamorous Agadir to the tiny villages of Sidi Ifni and Mirleft.
Scary, yet fascinating realities
This week we rejoin Isabel and Daniel on their research trip across West Africa…….the reality of the situation is becoming clearer and at times a little uneasy. Back in Dakar we decided to check out the fishing port, since we had been told about a location from which certain exports to Asia take place.
Here we come WEST AFRICA! 5 weeks, 4 countries, 2 people…1 goal.
Planning for the adventure ahead
Over the next few weeks we’ll be following Isabel, our Expeditions Leader and Daniel, Manta Trust Associate Director and Project Leader as they take an adventure across West Africa……but before they go there is one more, rather glamorous job for Isabel. It’s been a busy few weeks for Daniel and I, as we prepare for the big trip ahead; an exciting adventure with a very real objective.