Marine Megafauna Foundation
The Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF) was originally formed to research, protect and conserve the large populations of marine megafauna found along the Mozambican coastline. We began our efforts in the region back in 2003 but in recent years MMF researchers have expanded their efforts worldwide.
MMF specifically focuses on the research and conservation of threatened marine megafauna species. ‘Marine 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.
Mozambique is a world centre of abundance for whale sharks, manta rays and several other threatened marine species, many of which have been decimated by fisheries elsewhere in the world. Our primary objective is to conduct cutting- edge scientific research that can be directly applied to the conservation of the large marine species in this region. We examine issues that are directly related to both the management of marine life along the eastern coast of Africa, and the continued survival of these animals worldwide. More broadly, we work to support the sustainable development of the Mozambican tourism industry and to promote education initiatives in local schools and communities. After ten years of fieldwork in the region, MMF has formed collaborations with local scientists, conservation bodies, dive operators, maritime and tourism authorities and other government officials to create broad-scale protection for threatened species and important marine habitats in the country. These initiatives will have huge benefits nationally for Mozambique through the promotion of a lucrative and sustainable tourism industry, while benefiting local communities through infrastructural development and the creation of employment.
In addition to our world-leading research programs in Mozambique, MMF’s principal scientists work also includes projects in: Ecuador, Mexico, Belize, Myanmar, Indonesia, Qatar, Tanzania and Brazil. As we expand our research efforts around the globe we inch closer to our scientific and conservation goals. As recognised experts in their fields, our scientists have also proven extremely effective advocates for marine conservation and management. Foundation researchers are regularly invited to lecture on our work at public and scientific events around the world and our scientific results are being used to provide environmental officials with the justification needed to create international protective conservational legislation for these animals and their habitat.