Local college facilitates Manta Rays watching in Mexico

Thanks to the conservation efforts by local college, tourists can now watch Giant Manta Rays at arm’s reach deep in the ocean near the Revillagigedo Archipelago in Mexico’s Pacific island state of Baja California Sur.

(Soundbite) Antonio Ruiz Sakamoto, AUBCS Staff Member
“Mantas have slow-growing organism. They like very slow motion and are very susceptible to fishing and human activities. We are careful and have tried our best not to disturb them. We now have the relevant statistics and can ensure this is a good and friendly game.”

Researchers at the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur (AUBCS) secured the viability for divers to experience the daily life of Giant Manta Rays after years of study and scientific enhancement.

(Soundbite) Antonio Ruiz Sakamoto, AUBCS Staff Member
“We estimate that the Manta-watching project can generate about 15.5 million U.S. dollars per year for the tourism sector.”
Every year the archipelago received thousands of tourists, many of them would like to dive with Manta Rays to enjoy their beauty and docile nature.

(Soundbite) Benito Bermudez, Regional Director,Mexican Commission of Natural Protected Areas
“We have a very wide range of species living in almost pristine conditions (around the archipelago). They have very little interaction with humans due to the distance.”

Now, AUBCS helped reduce the distance almost to zero, and bring economic dynamism to the tourism sector.

Manta Rays can grow up to six meters long and like to travel in small groups. It is one of the stars at Revillagigedo Archipelago, a conservation site for a great marine wealth of billfish, whales, and giant blankets.

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