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Incredible Manta Ray Interaction Filmed

While studying an oceanic manta ray population in Peru, two researchers filmed an incredible encounter with one of the animals

 

During a research expedition to Peru aiming to help protect threatened manta and mobula rays, Wild Aid's Shawn Heinrichs and Josh Stewart of Manta Trust caught manta ray encounter on camera.

Marine biologist Josh Stewart During swam underneath a manta to take a picture of its unique colour pattern when he was surprised by the manta's playful response. 

'In all my years of filming and interacting with manta rays, I have never witnessed such an extraordinary interaction between a manta ray and a swimmer. The power and charisma of this giant manta was truly humbling!', Shawn Heinrichs said.

Watch the video here:

 

While Peru already lists manta and mobula rays for protection under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), no national regulations have been implemented as of yet. 

Working with Planeta Océano and with support from Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, the Wild Aid and Manta Trust are looking to work with coastal fishing communities.

'We are seeking to understand how mantas and mobulas are affected by local fisheries, both directed and as bycatch, and how to reduce manta mortality,' The Wild Aid website reads. 

In a similar project in Indonesia, sustainable manta tourism has replaced targeted fisheries and now provides an alternative for local communities. 

 

 

 

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