Dive the Maldives. Experience mantas like never before and take part in key conservation research
Constellation Fleet Maldives has teamed up with Manta Trust to bring guests the chance to dive with manta experts, Niv Froman and Guy Stevens. Not only will guests dive with the best, but there will be the chance to experience and take part in cutting-edge conservation research to protect these most majestic of animals as well as name new mantas.
30th August – 6th September 2015
Manta Madness, Male, Baa Atoll and Ari Atoll
Trip leader: Niv Froman
Join Constellation Fleet’s MV Orion and the Manta Trust’s Niv Froman on this trip dedicated to sightings and interactions with manta rays, focusing on the Central Atolls of North Malé Atoll, Baa Atoll and North Ari Atoll.
27th February – 7th March 2016
Southern & Central Atolls Sharks & Mantas
Huvadhoo, Laamu, Thaa, Meemu, South Ari Atoll
Trip Leader: Guy Stevens
Join Constellation Fleet’s MV Orion and the Manta Trust’s Guy Stevens. Dedicated to sightings and interactions with manta rays, focusing on the Southern & Central Atolls with the chance to really understand the magnificent manta.
Manta Trust scientists will be collecting photographic identification images of all mantas encountered throughout the expedition, a task that guests are welcome and encouraged to take part in. Sightings of all the manta rays encountered will be added to the Maldives database and guests will be invited to name any new individuals. Every manta sighting, whether it’s a new manta or a re-sighting of an individual which is already known, is an important piece of a huge jigsaw puzzle, allowing the manta team to better understand the population size, composition, migratory routes, reproductive output, native ranges and areas of critical habitats; all of which is crucial information in developing effective management and conservation strategies for these increasingly vulnerable animals.
About The Manta Trust
Manta rays are among the most charismatic creatures that inhabit our oceans. With the largest brain of all fish their intelligence and curiosity make encounters with these creatures a truly amazing experience. However, despite their popularity with divers and snorkelers many aspects of these creatures’ lives remain a mystery, with only snippets of their life history understood. More worryingly, in recent years, a fishery for these animals has developed with devastating effects on populations of these animals globally.
The Manta Trust was formed in 2011 to co-ordinate global research and conservation efforts for these animals, their close relatives and their habitat. As charismatic megafauna, manta rays act as the flagship species helping to promote and engage the general public in the wider message of marine ecosystem conservation. Through this top down approach to conservation the manta ray becomes the catalyst for change, engaging and motivating the general public, governments and local communities alike. As a UK Registered Charity, the Trust brings together a number of projects from around the globe, both new and long-standing, including the Republic of Maldives, Sri Lanka, Mexico and Indonesia. By conducting long-term, robust studies into manta populations in these locations the Trust aims to build solid foundations upon which Governments, NGOs and conservationists can make informed and effective decisions to ensure the long term survival of these animals and their habitat.
Trip Leader, Niv Froman
Join Niv’s entertaining talks on the highlights of manta lives and cutting edge research, and gain an insight into the life of a manta researcher.
Niv has been passionate about nature for as long as he can remember; his dream has always been living in close contact to the wilderness and to try to understand its fascinating mysteries.
After graduating summa cum laude in Natural Sciences at the University of Milan, Niv completed a Masters degree in Environmental Management focusing primarily on animal behaviour and evolution.
In 2010 he began work as a marine biologist in the Maldives, an experience that brought him closer to marine life and developed his passion for the underwater domain.
The complex and still poorly understood behaviour of manta rays particularly intrigued him from his first encounter. It was the desire to better understand their biology and help the conservation effort that introduced him to the Manta Trust. Since 2013, Niv has worked full time as Project Leader of the Maldivian Manta Ray Project, managing and coordinating the conservation and research of these majestic creatures.
Trip Leader, Guy Stevens
In 2005 Guy founded the Maldivian Manta Ray Project (MMRP) with the aim of helping to conserve the Maldives’ manta population through active research and education. In 2011, Guy formed The Manta Trust along with a collaboration of scientists, conservationists, photographers, filmmakers and communicators. His work with manta rays now takes him to other corners of the world, but the Maldives for him will always be the best place to see and study these amazing animals.
The research that Guy has conducted on the manta rays of the Maldives, especially in the famous Hanifaru Bay, has been featured in dozens of articles including a National Geographic Magazine feature and numerous television documentaries (BBC, ITV, National Geographic, Animal Planet, ABC, etc). Guy’s research at Hanifaru and his work with The Manta Trust contributed to the declaration of the Maldives’ Baa Atoll as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 2011. In March 2013 Guy and the rest of the Manta Trust team were key players in a coalition of NGOs which were instrumental in the successful campaign resulting in manta rays being listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), greatly improving the global protection for these vulnerable species.
Guy is now working towards the completion of his PhD focusing on manta rays at the University of York in the United Kingdom. Throughout the expedition, Guy will be providing lectures and informal talks on manta ray and whale shark research and conservation, general marine biology and highlighting the diverse and productive marine ecosystems of the Maldives.
For more information, visit www.constellation-fleet.com