Swimming with a whale shark is a once in a life experience! And in Mexico it is a regulated activity to protect both the animals and the snorkelers. We recommend reading and following the whale shark sighting and transit rules in the area. 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.
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.
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. 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.
All data that we collected help into the Whale Shark conservation and Management on the region. More than 10 years of whale shark monitoring have been key to establishing La Paz Bay as a critical habitat of the species, which needed to be protected. In collaboration with Mexican government, we worked to generate a new protected area for the whale sharks, since 2018 La Paz bay is a Refuge for the whale sharks, this habitat is magical and protect a lot of other species in the area: Watch our video of the Refuge.