We have been supporting The Manta Trust for some time, and we have now become involved with a project specifically designed to monitor manta ray sightings around the coast of Thailand.
So, we were delighted to host Jamie from The Thailand Manta Project on our trip to Hin Daeng this week. As you can imagine, we were a little nervous about whether we would get to see any rays, but we were very lucky and encountered two beautiful rays, including one who had been sighted previously, named Paw Paw.
As can be expected, everyone on the trip was very excited to dive with these amazing creatures, especially as they stayed around for a whole hour.
We are obviously now more committed than ever to continue our support of the Thailand Manta Project and The Manta Trust. Keep up the good work guys!
We are delighted to announce that we have teamed up with Course Director Lisa Bier to offer our Instructor Development Course.
Lisa is well known here on Koh Lanta, where she has been based for many years. She has been an instructor since 2002 and a Course Director since 2007. She is an experienced CD, having certified over 50 IDC candidates. As well as speaking her native Dutch, she is also fluent in English and German, as well as some French, Thai, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish.
Lisa has very clear ideas about how the IDC should be run, striking a careful balance between classroom presentations and in-water training. She also has a deep interest in conservation, which fits in with our ethos here.
We are looking forward to working together to add to our existing IDC program and are excited to be collaborating on new projects. Welcome to our team Lisa!
We are very lucky at our dive centre to back onto a river that runs between Koh Lanta Yai and Koh Lanta Noi. We offer dives from our pier in this river and over the last few years, have noticed that we seem to have a population of seahorses. After a few years of talking and planning, we have finally started a program to monitor these fascinating creatures.
So, why is it important to monitor seahorses? According to Project Seahorse:
Seahorses are a flagship species for a wide range of marine conservation issues. Many seahorse species are listed as threatened on the World Conservation Union’s IUCN Red List.
They inhabit a wide range of marine environments, including seagrasses, mangroves, coral reefs, estuaries and seaweeds. Declines in their population signify wider problems can could effect a wide range of other species.
We are using a tool devised by Project Seahorse called iSeahorse, which allows for the logging and identification of individuals. If there is any uncertainty about the exact species, this can be recorded as ‘unknown’ and scientists from the project will assist with identification.
We will provide updates on population numbers and species identified over the next few weeks.
Thanks to Marcelo Ogata for the photograph www.bugdreamer.com