Manta ray distribution in Manta Sandy – Raja Ampat: Monitoring implications for sustainable Manta Ray tourism

Maulita Sari Hani, Jamaluddin Jompa, M. Natsir Nessa, Alan T White, Abraham Sianpiar, Abdi Hasan, Meidiarti Kasmidi, Rafid Shidqi, Edy Setyawan
Manta rays (Mobula birostris and Mobula alfredi) has high value for economic, ecology, and social/cultural aspect including tourism. Manta Sandy, one of a popular manta ray tourism sites in Raja Ampat visits by hundreds of tourist monthly. Since 2017, an establishment of manta post in manta sandy has played an important role to actively monitor visitors in supporting conservation of manta ray and its habitat to ensure the distribution of this species for successful management of manta ray tourism. This paper analyzes the distribution of manta ray in manta sandy by utilizing a number of monitoring activities involved citizen science, capture-mark-recapture (CMR) technique, acoustic and satellite tagging. The data from tourists on manta sightings collected from October 2017 to May 2018, CMR conducted for 17 days during December 2017 to February 2018 using 2 underwater cameras, acoustic and satellite data from 2013 to 2018. Interview with representative from pokja manta and distribution of questioners from manta tourists also collected to support the findings. The results of this study identified manta sightings in the morning and afternoon, where on low season manta sightings are extremely rare; there are 196 accumulative photo ID record
Elasmobranch, citizen science, capture-mark-recapture, acoustic receiver, satellite tagging, marine protected areas (MPAs), ecotourism, marine wildlife tourism
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