Welcome to the website of the Manta Ray Conservation Group, a UK Charity specifically formed to assist the conservation of manta rays. The Group is an educational and environmental Charity to inform the public about the plight of Manta Rays (Manta birostris) and raise funds to assist Manta Ray conservation projects around the world.
The inspiration for the founding of the Group was the BBC television programme Andrea, Queen of Mantas, where Andrea Marshall a Scientist working in Mozambique has discovered there are two distinct species of Manta Ray. The new species took the original scientific name for manta rays of Manta birostris, whilst the reef manta was given a new scientific name of Manta alfredi by Andrea. Manta birostris is much larger than the reef manta ray with a wing span of 8 metres and a weight of 3,000 kg (3 tons). Andrea has also discovered this new species is a true ocean wanderer. Fantastically, Andrea has agreed to be the patron of our charity.
The tragedy is that as an ocean wanderer, this new species is particularly vulnerable to unregulated fishing and therefore extinction. All manta ray numbers, in certain parts of the world such as South East Asia, are reducing. Unfortunately, manta ray parts such as their gill rakers are highly prized in Chinese medicine.
So the aim of the Manta Conservation Group is to make people aware of the threats to these fantastic animals, to provide facts about ecology, to inform about research projects into manta rays, conservation and eco-tourism projects, including diving opportunities.
Any funds resulting from the activities of the Group will be used to aid projects such as the fantastic research being produced by Andrea in Mozambique. For further information about Andrea's research please go to the Manta Ray and Whale Shark Research Centre’s website at http://marinemegafauna.org/about-us/
We would welcome any input from interested parties and the intention is to encourage members to the Group who will be asked to provide a very small donation.