Swimming with a whale shark is a fabulous experience and in Mexico it is a regulated activity to protect both the animals and the snorkelers.
In La Paz Bay we have maintained a whale shark monitoring program since 2003. Unfortunately the data shows that up to 66% of juveniles have been hit by boats. In collaboration with the Mexican government, a Code of Conduct was generated for whale shark tour operators.
Whale Shark Interaction Rules
Since 2009, and in collaboration with the Mexican government, we have been training the staff of the tourist companies from La Paz Bay to promote the whale shark rules during their tour trips (151 trainees). During the training we share the results obtained from the monitoring and of the analysis of the injuries observed on the whale sharks. We also promote the Code of Conduct, we emphasize the importance of their participation and enforcement of the rules and we propose new strategies to enforce the management.
Tourist company trade on 2013
A dissemination program of the Code of Conduct was developed that focuses on private boats. We placed billboards in marinas of La Paz city and during the monitoring we share this information with private boats.
Billboard on Marina Costa Baja
From 2009-2012 careful monitoring of the whale shark population revealed that the affected sharks decreased by 26%.
Whale shark injuries since 2009. Identified sharks (WS ID), affected (whale shark with injuries %). Sharks.
To care for the whale shark is a community effort! Before booking your trip make sure that the service provider is authorized by SEMARNAT. They will show you how not harm or disturb the sharks and how to avoid putting yourself at risk.
When you are in the whale shark area make sure these gentle giants are not harmed by your boat; there are many whale sharks with cuts and scars.
We recommend reading and following the whale shark sighting and transit rules in the area.