Big news for NZ manta ray science!
Emmy was first encountered back in 2019 as part of a tagging collaboration between Conservation International Aotearoa, Department of Conservation and the Tindale Marine Research Charitable Trust. Emmy soon became the first successfully tagged NZ manta ray and went on an amazing adventure. Then this summer (Feb 2022), the Manta Watch NZ team spotted her again hanging out in the Hauraki Gulf. Not only is this the project’s first resighting, it also provides the first insight into NZ-Fiji-NZ migration.. well for Emmy anyway! Big thanks to all our project partners and supporters for making this discovery possible!
Calling all citizen scientists – here’s what you need to know when encountering a manta in NZ.
In the event you encounter a manta, there are a few key pieces of info we need to get the most out of your sighting:
– Time & Date
– GPS Location
– Verification images/videos (the more the better)
– Images of the manta ray’s underside/belly, which we can then use to identify individual rays and determine their sex.
Please submit your sightings to via our online sightings map.
Lots of manta action at the Alderman Islands this 2022 season!
Video credit: Caleb Hines
Research grade drone and in-water footage of Derro the manta.
Video credit: The Hunters Club
Check out Devon’s high speed slow motions manta flip.
Video credit: Mike Bhana
A young manta encountered at the Poor Knights, November 2017
Video credit: Canadasam101
Debbie is a Manta Watch NZ favourite, she’s a BIG female and was encountered off Red Mercury Island in 2019.
Video credit: Rowan Virbrickas
Manta Soup at Tutukaka – Feb 2022 – check out that baby bump!
Video credit: Sophiavsea
Manta encounter at the Poor Knights 2018. Evidence of negative interaction with fishing gear.
Vidoe credit: Dive Tutukaka
Devil Ray Blue Water Party!
Video credit: Slade Kerr
2012 manta ray encounter with kingfish entourage at the Poor Knights.
Video credit: Raymond Hamlin
MWANZ combines dedicated research and citizen science to learn more about Aotearoa’s oceanic manta and devil rays. We advocate for Aotearoa New Zealand’s oceanic ecosystems through research, conservation, education, and collaboration.