Saturday, March 29, 2008

Panama Manta Expedition 2009

The Manta Network is conducting its first exploratory expedition to Panama. There are several reports and sightings of manta and mobula rays in the area. This will be our first opportunity to conduct detailed research in Panama.

On board the 100-foot Lost Coast Explorer we will investigate the area surrounding the Coiba National Park. The park is a new World Heritage site and is one of the largest marine parks in the world. Coiba is at the center of the park and is Panama's largest island. It is also home to the second-largest coral reef in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The waters are filled with very large fish and mammals including humpbacks whales, dolphins, orcas, whale sharks, manta rays, rooster fish, amber jack, big snappers, three kinds of marlin, moray eels, and white-tip, hammerhead, and tiger sharks. Sharks and mantas are especially common, and sea turtles are seen regularly.

You are invited to participate as a research assistant and aid our scientists in the collection of important data that will lead to effective manta protection. We plan to deploy our underwater video camera on manta cleaning stations as well as conduct photo identification field work.

We are offering a 6 day/7 night expedition to Coiba on the Lost Coast Explorer. The departure date is April 5 from Panama City returning April 11, 2008. The expedition cost is $3,295 plus airfare. The trip will be led by Robert Aston and Lynn Jaye.

The Manta Network is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and therefore the cost of the trip is IRS tax-deductible.

Only a limited number of research assistant spaces are being offered and these will sell out quickly. To book your space contact Robert Aston via email at:

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