Hanifaru Bay: a case study
A bay the size of a football pitch, Hanifaru Bay is a unique and special site where, during favourable conditions, over 200 manta rays aggregate to feed on the zooplankton trapped inside the bay. Hanifaru Bay is now a Marine Protected Area (MPA) of the Maldives and a core site within the recently established Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The extraordinary manta feeding aggregations of Hanifaru have been featured in many magazines and documentaries (National Geographic, BBC, etc.) and quickly gained dramatic popularity, making it now one of the top tourist destinations of the country. This seminar will explore the “Case of Hanifaru Bay”, an insight into the process that turned Hanifaru Bay into a Marine Reserve where tourism and exploitation impacts are minimised in order to safeguard the unique and fragile manta ray population visiting the site and to guarantee that such important resource will be available for generations to come. The declaration of Hanifaru Bay to an MPA did not happen overnight but was the result of years of research, discussions and collaboration between Governmental Parties, NGOs, local communities and site users.
Part 1: An introduction on manta behaviour and threats
Part 2: Hanifaru Bay, a special place for mantas
Part 3: How Hanifaru bay became a protected area
Part 4: How tourism impact mantas
Part 5: About Manta Trust
Part 6: Questions and Answers
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