Welcome to the Marine Megafauna Foundation!
The Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF) was created in 2009 to research, protect and conserve the large populations of marine megafauna found along the Mozambican coastline. ‘Megafauna’ are large marine species such as sharks, rays, marine mammals and turtles. These animals are key components of marine ecosystems but, as they are long-lived and have low reproductive rates, their populations are usually the first to be reduced by human pressures. Fortunately, they are also amongst the most charismatic animals on the planet and engender a high degree of public interest in their biology and conservation, making them useful ambassadors for the whole marine environment.
Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus), reef manta rays (Manta alfredi) and giant manta rays (Manta birostris) are found together in large numbers in Mozambican waters, one of the only locations in the world where this occurs. Mozambican water is also home to five of the world’s seven sea turtle species, all of which are either endangered or critically endangered. Our international research projects aim to define the population structure and size of these species, identify local critical habitats and to obtain basic biological and ecological data.
As well as research into the biology, ecology and threats to these flagship species, we are also involved in several local projects. We are working with communities to encourage more ocean awareness, sustainable and alternative fishing practices and with the government to help establish legal protection for the species we are researching. Nemos Pequenos (Little Nemos) is MMF’s flagship education program which aims to create a new generation of ocean guardians who have a compassionate understanding of their marine environment and are empowered to act towards its sustainable management and protection.
The Manta Ray and Whale Shark Research Centre is based at Tofo Beach, Mozambique, at Casa Barry Lodge. Staff and volunteers can be found on site - just come along to Casa Barry to find us in the MMF office or working in the restaurant. Come and have a chat with us to find out more on our latest research updates, news and how to volunteer with us! Learn how you can get involved with researching and protecting the biggest fishes on the planet and even adopt and name your very own manta ray or whale shark. We hope you enjoy your visit to MMF and, most importantly, learn something new about these huge, friendly fish.
To find out more information about our research, we have public talks at Casa Barry in the talks room. We charge a small fee of 150mzn per person and cover variety of topics on different nights. So come along for Manta Monday, Whale Shark Wednesday or Fishy/Fauna Friday and learn how we’re saving ocean giants from extinction.