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Swimming with the Whale Sharks

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 | BLOG | No Comments

Swimming with Whale Sharks

 

Probably the mwhale-sharkost salient whale shark fact — at least to those hoping to get up close and personal with them — is that they aren’t meat (or man) eaters. Instead, they use their gaping, cave-like maws to suck up plankton and fish spawn, like giant industrial vacuum cleaners. Whale Sharks migrate following their feeding instincts. Every year they pass by and stay around the Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Isla Holbox areas.High concentrations of plankton allow this wonderful event to happen close to our Cancun coast. Nowhere are they reported in greater concentrations than in Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico waters off the northeast corner of the Yucatán Peninsula. In August, researchers counted 420 whale sharks in one area.

Whale sharks are the biggest fish in the sea at 6 feet to 50 feet and possibly longer. If whale sharks are the double tractor-trailers of the underwater highways, human interlopers are puny Smart Cars, utterly insignificant in the presence of such overwhelming mass.

The tour operators have devised their own code of conduct. Following ecological rules along with National Park procedures, only 2 snorkelers are allowed in the water at a time so they have a certain amount of time to snorkel with the Whale sharks. Every snorkeler has their fair share of turns. Additionally, Mexico created a Whale Shark Biosphere Reserve in the region last year.

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