This month, CNN’s environment focused program Call to Earth sheds light on the conservation efforts taking place in the Maldives to protect the manta ray.
CNN meets Beth Faulkner, the Baa Atoll project manager of the Maldivian Manta Ray Project to understand how the conservation group learns about their reproductive traits and behaviour and to identify the key patterns in their movement.
The Maldives has the largest recorded population of manta in the world, at around 5000. CNN learns about the many challenges manta rays are facing around the world.
“Here in the Maldives it’s the loss of their habitats that we’re most worried about,” says Faulkner. “The oceans are warming, which means we’re losing a lot of our corals that surround the islands.”
Faulkner tells CNN that she wants people to be inspired by experiencing swimming with manta rays in the wild.
“The more people are aware of manta rays and their environment, the more they’re going to want to protect them. By getting people to fall in love with manta rays, we can then help encourage them to make changes in their day to day life and work towards protecting not only the ocean environment, but the environments that make up our planet.”