Where are the manta rays in Bahia De Banderas, Mexico?
Antonio Takahiro Ruiz Sakamoto
Manta rays are an iconic example of charismatic marine megafauna and like many large marine vertebrates they are threatened globally by targeted and indirect fisheries. While the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recently increased the conservation status of manta rays to Vulnerable, to date scientists and managers have conducted minimal research on the population size, structure and dynamics of oceanic manta rays. Manta rays can be tagged by free divers with the use of pole spears to affix a stainless steel dart to the dorsal musculature of the organism with a tether attaching the dart to the tag. The tag reveals the position of the organism with the help of a web of receptors widely distributed in Bahia de Banderas letting us to track them. Tracking serval manta rays with the use of ultrasonic external tags will allow to comprehend part of the basic life history strategies (e.g. migratory routes, and feeding).