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Kona Manta Ray Identification Project
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Black Beauty
image by Jeffrey Milsen 2011/09/25
Number: 208
Name: Black Beauty
Sex: Female
Current Size: ~10'
Last Sighting: September 25, 2011
First Size: ~10'
First Sighting: September 25, 2011
Black Beauty was seen while diving with an experimental pelagic aquaculture array. The cage was kept between 10 and 70 miles off the Kona coast of the Big Island, generally south of Keahole Pt. Jeffray was working as a diver on a project that was attempting to alleviate the environmental concerns associated with aquaculture by drifting a fish cage many miles offshore and away from delicate coastal environments. The same cage that might have deleterious effects on shallow water ecosystems effectively created a magnet for an incredible array of pelagic wildlife. Black Beauty first showed up on 9/23/2011 to the delight of the crew on board who were confined to snorkel. She stuck around for a few hours that day before disappearing into the blue. "Two days later, we were diving the cage again when I noticed a huge black shape out of the corner of my mask. Black Beauty stuck around for the entirety of the dive, allowing many close encounters with the two divers".