The Marine Megafauna Foundation is a non-profit organisation, created in 2009 to research 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. The Manta Ray & Whale Shark Research Centre is based at Casa Barry lodge, Tofo Beach, very close to Peri-Peri divers. Tofo is a major international hot-spot for both manta rays and whale sharks, making it the ideal place to conduct research of international importance. The research centre works closely with sponsors, international scientific collaborators, the marine tourism industry, conservation organisations and the Mozambican government to identify and solve the problems that manta rays and whale sharks face in Mozambique and worldwide, and aim to provide a sustainable future for the country.


Peri-Peri Divers are a key sponsor of the Foundation, and are heavily involved in the work conducted at the research centre. Researchers from the Foundation often conduct work on board Peri-Peri’s dive boats collecting scientific data. This cooperation is an excellent example of how dive operators can work with scientists to help protect the marine environment we all love and want to sustain. This unique relationship between dive operator and research centre ensures customers are diving with a company who are determined to be sustainable and are passionate about protecting the marine environment. Having researchers on board Peri-Peri’s dive boats gives divers and snorkellers on ‘ocean safari’s’ a unique opportunity to see scientific research in action and the ability to talk with world experts who have dedicated their lives to studying these amazing charismatic species.


The Foundation hold three insightful public talks each week at Casa Barry Lodge, providing visitors the opportunity to learn about the marine life of Tofo from world experts in the field

  • Monday: Manta Rays, by Dr. Andrea Marshall
  • Wednesday: Whale Sharks, by Dr. Simon Pierce
  • Friday: Tofo’s marine life, by PhD Candidate Chris Rohner


As divers and snorkelers you can also actively contribute to the work conducted at the research centre and others worldwide. Each whale shark and manta ray has a spot pattern as unique as a human fingerprint. Photos of sharks and mantas can be used to identify individuals allowing scientists to estimate population size, structure and migration patterns. So no matter where you go in the world if there are whalesharks or manta rays you can help out! In order to take a useable photo of whalesharks it is important to follow some very basic guidelines which can be found at the following site: Images can be uploaded to the same site and will be used by researchers worldwide to further their understanding of whale sharks. For mantas the foundation has a facebook group set up called: Manta Conservation East Africa-Photo Identifcation. There are basic instructions on the facebook page and you can upload your pictures straight to the group and the researchers at the Foundation will use those images to ID individuals.


Dr. Andrea Marshall
Foundation Director
Lead Scientist – Manta Ray Research Program
Manta Ray & Whale Shark Research Centre
Phone: +258 84 730 1190

Dr. Simon Pierce
Lead Scientist – Whale Shark Research Program
Manta Ray & Whale Shark Research Centre
Phone: +258 84 754 1320

Chris Rohner
PhD Candidate
Whale Shark Research Program
Manta Ray & Whale Shark Research Centre
Phone: +258 84 282 1091


Guilherme Kodja
Director of Conservation

Katie Hogg
Project Manager
Phone: +258 84 765 9311

Malcolm Warrack (Media Coordinator):
For more details please visit the Foundation’s website at

A Nina Constable Film