Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Power of the Internet

We received some really great news this morning that the tag Andrea Marshall placed on our mantas back in September, having released near to the border with peru, drifting further south, and subsequently been picked up by a fisherman, has now been handed over and should soon be winging its way back to the states and will allow finer analysis of the data captured whilst it was on the manta.
The journey of this tag since it came off of the manta has been almost as interesting as when it was on the manta, and serves to remind us that the future of mantas is inextricably linked with our relationship with them.
After Andrea launched an internet campaign to try to find the tag, a contact from somewhere in south america put us in touch with Kerstin Forsburg who runs a marine non profit in the northern peru region where the tag was loose. After an exhaustive search with the help of local contacts and fliers, a fisherman came forward and the tag was handed over yesterday morning.
Such an operation would never have happened in days pre-internet, and is a marvelous demonstration of how, through technology, conservation efforts can reach to the farthest flung corners of the planet. Through finding this tag, we have also found an important allie in the future of manta ray conservation, and the global manta village has grown by a few more inhabitants.

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