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                       Both Manta birostris and Manta alfredi are now listed as VULNERABLE to extinction on the ICUN Red List of Threatened species

Despite being the basis of a multi-million dollars eco-tourism industries, little is known about the population ecology and biology of this charismatic giant.

Manta rays remain unprotected in most part of the world, including Australia. They are regularly caught as by-catch in fisheries, shark nets and drum lines and are actively chased in some part of the world for their gills, meat and fins. 

Over 1500 manta rays are landed each year for these markets

In order to efficiently protect these gentle giant populations and their habitats, data on their biology, ecology and behaviour are needed.

     Data on the population trends and ecology are vital for effective conservation management plans. Knowledge about the characteristics of the specific sites that manta rays generally frequent may help to predict where aggregations might occur, which in turn may feed into management to regulate fishing and eco-tourism in these regions or to create sanctuaries for this species if deemed appropriate.