The whale shark has arrived in Mexico. It is one of the most mystical aquatic animals because of its beauty and mysterious journeys through the world’s seas.
The whale shark is the largest fish in the world. It has a long, narrow body with a flat head. Its gray skin with white stripes and spots distinguishes it from the other species that reach the Mexican coasts every winter. It measures around 12 meters, feeds mainly on plankton, and can live up to 100 years.
Get to know the seas of Mexico
Whale sharks come to Mexico because they prefer tropical seas with their warm waters and rich algae. They are usually solitary, docile, and passive.
Their migration is still a mystery to scientists because they do not have an established route. It is known which destinations they arrive at, but not where they go next; this has generated a series of myths related to their mermaid-like tail.
These beautiful creatures like to wander in an undefined direction until they find food. It is thought that one-quarter live in the Atlantic Ocean and the other three-quarters in the Indo-Pacific.
Endangered Whale Sharks
In recent years, only about 7,000 whale sharks have been sighted. It is estimated that its population has been reduced by 50% in the last 75 years. Although this species has very few natural predators, its main threat is pollution and poaching, the human interference in the sea.
Some activities that deteriorate their habitat are garbage, sewage, and chemical waste. In addition, trawling is dangerous for them because they get stuck in the net by accident. Irresponsible tourism also endangers their lifestyle because it generates stress and affects their feeding, reproduction, and migration.
Whale Sharks in Mexico
In Mexico, six natural protected areas that get ready to wait for the whale shark every year. Authorities supervise that no garbage is generated in these sites and that a minimum distance can be maintained so that the fish are not touched or disturbed. It is forbidden to take flash photography, use propulsion motors, and swim or dive using non-biodegradable sunscreen and sunblock in these reserves.
Between October and March, the whale shark settles mainly on the coasts of Baja California Sur. According to the year and the season, the number of sightings varies, but up to 30 specimens have been seen.
You are only four minutes away from seeing a whale shark.
The whale shark watching season in Holbox Island, near Quintana Roo, is from May to September. It is one of the most anticipated activities on the island. The Mexican Caribbean is where the species can be appreciated to the maximum since it is one of their favorite destinations.
The whale shark is one of the most mysterious species of fish. In Mexico, we are fortunate to be part of their migration. To be able to admire them even from afar is an impressive experience. But, of course, you can’t miss the opportunity to meet and greet one.