Protecting manta rays and whale sharks,  Mozambique

Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF)’s  mission is to save threatened marine life using pioneering research, education and sustainable conservation solutions.

The plankton rich waters along the 700km coastline of the Inhambane Province in Mozambique is one of the few places in the world where both manta ray species are found together as well as whale sharks and humpback whales. Although manta ray tourism is worth $34 million annually in the region, there has been a 98% decline in manta ray sightings, mainly due to unsustainable fishing practices.  MMF has been successfully working in Tofo where a Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) has been established and is working to establish a second. It has also been working with a number of local dive centres to ensure divers are aware of the importance of these magnificent creatures.  Supporting current work in Tofo and expanding activities into nearby Barra, the project will:
– establish and manage rotational or permanent no-take areas in both LMMAs with the local community
– train 10 fishermen to become Ocean Rangers to protect and enforce regulations and reduce the use of destructive fishing techniques
– recruit 22 Ocean Ambassadors who will raise awareness of the issues
– develop a sustainable fish consumer guide and recruit restaurants to support and promote sustainable fish.

Image credit: Adam Baugh