Identification of 2 New Mantas in German Channel - November 2012
The last new moon of November, Mandy Etpison, the founder of Manta ID Palau Project, went diving to update the manta database. Twelve mantas were seen feeding at German Channel, 2 of which are newly identified female Mantas.
Manta ID Palau Project, with sponsorship from NECO Marine, builds a database to collect information on Palau's individual mantas and shares what is learned from observing and photographing them in Palau for the last 25 years. They also encourage divers to share their photographs of mantas in case they are still not listed on the database: www.mantaidpalau.org.
Manta rays have black markings on their bellies that are like fingerprints, and make each individual easy to identify. There are currently 103 individual mantas clearly identified, 45 males and 58 females, which are all listed on the website. The mantas found were Mechas, Camy, Silveryback, Romana, Gypsy, Freckles, Chico and F14. All of them very familiar to Mandy. The 2 newly identified mantas were named Pumpkin and Tiki. Two other mantas are still to be identified! Maybe 2 more new mantas? Some other sad news is that Mechas has new wounds from boat propellers.
If you would like to learn how to identify the mantas and to position yourself under water so not to scare them away. NECO Marine has a PADI dive specialty course: “Manta Identification Diver Palau”, a two day course where you can find out more about Palau’s manta rays and how to observe them best. Specialty Instructor Fabio Esposito will be teaching the course, and says he would like to see all the dive guides in Palau give better briefings to their guests about the mantas, and especially how to behave around them.
Return to Topics