Video - swimming with manta rays
- By Richard Branson -
- Feb 27, 2013
As you can see in the video above, I recently had the huge privilege to swim with manta rays and raise awareness about their plight.
Swimming with manta rays is an incredible experience. These graceful giants are harmless and will swim right by you. Yet these gentle animals are being hunted relentlessly so their gills can be used as a supposed health tonic.
The United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meets every three years, and 177 member nations vote on whether to grant international protection to certain highly threatened and endangered species. After three years or campaigning by WildAid, Shark Savers and others, manta rays are finally on the voting ballot for the CITES meeting next month.
Shawn Heinrichs, who filmed the beautiful footage, has blogged eloquently calling on the delegates from the CITES member nations to support the Manta Ray Listing. We wholeheartedly agree. You can add your support by signing this petition, asking governments to vote in favour of manta ray conservation.
Shawn has also produced a wonderful musical film showing the beauty of the animals called Mantas Last Dance – more on that soon.
Please help protect manta rays, because when the buying stops the killing can too.
By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group