Wetpixel member and contributor Burt Jones is appealing for “historical” image contributions to the Bird’s Head Seascape Manta ID database. Specifically, they are seeking images of mantas taken in Raja Ampat in 2009 or earlier.
The database already has over 1400 identified individuals. While mantas are protected within Raja, they are not in the rest of Indonesia. By showing that they have large migratory patterns, this can be used to motivate the government to institute protections nationally.
If you have images of mantas taken in Raja in or before 2009, here are the specifics: Low-resolution images of the animals’ bellies (this is where they have distinctive markings). The date the image was taken on and the dive site are also crucial. Please email any suitable images to Burt.