Please allow me to introduce Manta McMantaface !
This beautiful manta was encountered at Hin Daeng, near Koh Lanta, playing with six of her friends around the cleaning stations in 2017. The encounter was reported to MantaMatcher by one of Lanta Diver’s photographers – Narcosis Nick – and this was the first recorded sighting of this individual. She was then re-spotted a year later close to the Similan Islands, at Koh Bon. You can see the recorded sightings of Manta McMantaface here – http://tiny.cc/McMantaface
As Nick was the first to record a sighting of this majestic beauty, he was given the chance of naming her. And what an awesome moniker he chose – Manta McMantaface !
Citizen science projects like this help provide valuable data to the marine biologists studying the majestic giants, and to track their movements. If you have any suitable photos, please send them in to MantaMatcher, and maybe you will have the chance to name a manta too. Check out the MantaMatcher website to see which photos are suitable for identification purposes – https://www.mantamatcher.org/photographing.jsp
But please remember, when trying to get a photo of the underside of a manta to respect its space and behaviour patterns. Do not chase the manta to get your photo – observe its behaviour and try to guess where you think it will go, and then position yourself in a manner that will not disrupt its feeding or cleaning. For more information on how to interact with mantas, please have a look at the info provided by The Manta Trust.
You can also sign up for a PADI Manta Conservation Diver Specialty course with us at Lanta Diver, on Koh Lanta, Thailand. The west coast of Thailand is home to a healthy population of mantas, and Koh Lanta is the best location to base yourself to dive at the world famous Hin Daeng/Hin Muang dive sites. The two stunning sites are situated next to each other, and in addition to offering you the chance to dive Thailand’s deepest drop-offs, there’s also a very good chance of spotting the mantas at the cleaning stations on these amazing dive sites…
For the 2019/2020 season, in a bid to help out winged friends, we will be including the Manta Conservation Diver Specialty in all our PADI Divemaster programmes at Lanta Diver. During this training we will be helping our budding new dive professionals to contribute to these citizen science projects, and also to make sure they know how to brief and conduct dives at sites visited by mantas in a positive way. We also offer Manta Conservation Specialty Instructor Training for those who are already certified as PADI Instructors, or as an add-on to our PADI Instructor Development programmes.
For more information about the mantas of Koh Lanta, check out these links and see the excellent work being done in the area by Lanta resident Jamie of the Thailand Manta Project too:
If you are interested in the PADI Manta Diver Conservation Specialty, or in becoming a PADI Divemaster or Manta Conservation Specialty Instructor, please send us a quick email and we will be happy to answer your questions…
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