Protecting Peru's Giant Manta Rays
3184

Ocean Health

Protecting Peru's Giant Manta Rays

Help scientists to understand the occurrence of giant manta rays in Peru in order to strengthen protections for this species.


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The facts

Why the research is important

Why the research is important

Research collected from this project could help to establish protections for giant manta rays, enabling the species to withstand threats such as fishery interactions and global change.

Where and when do manta rays gather in northern Peru? What is the size and behavior of these populations?

Giant Manta Ray

The data collected will enable scientists to deliver recommendations to help reduce bycatch in the area.

The answers to these questions will be crucial in helping to gain a better understanding of the population's size, distribution and behavior in northern Peru to better conserve this population. By working with manta rays as a flagship species (a species that serves as an icon for a habitat), researchers will promote marine conservation, sustainable fisheries and resource management in the Tumbes region, which hosts the largest amount of marine biodiversity in Peru. This region is also near to a proposed Marine Protected Area and a Mission Blue Hope Spot – the Tropical Sea of Peru.

By measuring water surface temperatures, sampling zooplankton (a critical manta ray food source), surveying seabirds and marine megafauna such as whale sharks and sea turtles, and collecting genetic samples of giant manta rays, researchers will be able to gain a greater understanding of the environmental factors that impact these natural habitats. Data collected will also help provide a greater understanding of manta rays and will build public awareness and appreciation for marine resources.

Findings from this research will also enable scientists to deliver recommendations to help reduce bycatch in the area. These recommendations could help fishermen to promote low-impact, community-based tourism based on manta ray watching, and will help to promote cooperation between Peru and Ecuador in developing binational protections for this iconic species.

About the research area

Zorritos, Tumbes, Peru, South America

Daily life in the field

Itinerary

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The Scientists

MEET THE LEAD SCIENTIST

Raquel
Siccha Ramirez
Researcher, Instituto del Mar del Perú

ABOUT Raquel Siccha Ramirez

Dr. Raquel Siccha Ramirez is a researcher in the Department of Aquaculture at Instituto del Mar del Perú (IMARPE). She specializes in genetics.

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