video and photo credit to Nakia Cullain, MAR Expeditions
Nakia, the founder of MAR Expeditions, is gearing up for her upcoming tagging season in Zavora, Mozambique. Her work revolves around the study of the Manta Ray population in the region, which involves critical research aimed at conserving the species. Nakia has been busy preparing her tags for the upcoming tagging season which includes tethering, painting, and ensuring that the serial numbers are aligned correctly. Although this part of the work is a little tedious and frustrating it means that everything goes smoothly out in the field.
Manta rays have a unique spot pattern on their belly and between their gills. These markings make it possible to identify individuals. Interns use photo-identification and laser photogrammetry to gather data on population dynamics, migration patterns, and environmental variables that influence our manta rays’ distribution and abundance.
Nakia and her team at MAR Expeditions have been working tirelessly to study the Manta Ray population in Zavora, Mozambique. They use satellite and acoustic tags to track the Manta Ray movements, gathering data on their behaviour and habitat preferences. The data gathered through tagging is critical to understanding these creatures and implementing effective conservation measures.
During the research dive on the 5th of April, Nakia and her team came across a Small Eyed Stingray. These elusive creatures are data deficient and are usually only seen in the area during winter. To come across one in April was an exciting development for the team. Nakia managed to get a photo ID and a tissue sample from the Stingray for her database, adding to the knowledge on this elusive species.
The work being done by Nakia and her team at MAR Expeditions is critical to the conservation of these beautiful and vulnerable creatures. By understanding their behaviour, habitat preferences, and migratory patterns, we can take steps to protect them from threats such as overfishing, habitat destruction, and pollution.
The work being done by Nakia and her team at MAR Expeditions is critical to their conservation. If you are interested in supporting Nakia's work check out the MAR Expeditions page join her and her team in Zavora, Mozambique.