- Study manta movements around Palau
- Observe, study and photo ID mantas without using invasive tagging methods
- Survey new manta sites around local reefs
- Make recommendations to the states and government for proper site management
- Maintain & update manta ID web database
- Collect data on manta behavior & sightings
- Share data with other Micronesian and Pacific island manta range countries
Manta rays have become a major attraction for snorkelers and divers visiting Palau, but little is known about these beautiful creatures because they spend most of their time in open ocean. The only times we get to see them is when they come close to the reefs to feed or get cleaned at coral cleaning stations.
Mantas are vulnerable to boat and tourism pressure, and wrong behavior by groups of divers and snorkelers may cause the mantas to move away from their traditional mating and birthing sites in Palau which they return to each season. Popular and crowded manta sites such as German Channel need to be managed more carefully by the stakeholders to ensure that both mantas and visitors can safely enjoy these encounters.
We started this web database to collect information on Palau's individual mantas, and share with you what we have learned from observing and photographing them in Palau for the last 25 years.
To prepare visitors better for Palau manta encounters, the Neco Marine 5* PADI facility is now offering the new PADI Specialty Course: Manta Identification Diver Palau.
Visitors taking this course will not only learn about mantas and how to identify individual animals, but also about how to position themselves under water and be more aware of the animals and their behavior so as not to disturb or chase them away during an encounter.
For 2013, Kids Activity booklets will be distributed for free to all 5th and 6th school grades on Palau. The 45 page booklets include quizzes, mazes, stickers, coloring pages and educational information about manta rays in Palau.