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Whale Sharks vs. ¨Pirate¨Boats

Cozumel, Mexico
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for Cozumel, Merida
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Whale Sharks vs. ¨Pirate¨Boats

An interesting article in today´s Novedades newspaper about the masses coming to swim with the whalesharks, many on boats without proper permits. According to the article, many operate from Cancun. According to the article, at some times up to 100 boats arrive bringing up to 1000 tourists. It also says at times, 2 or 3 of the whale sharks are surroundied by 500 tourists.

Too bad they cannot implement better enforcement of rules before the whale sharks tire of the harassment and leave the area.

sipse.com/novedades/sobre-explotacion-del-se…

Chicago, Illinois
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for Isla Mujeres
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1. Re: Whale Sharks vs. ¨Pirate¨Boats

In 3 whale shark tours I have yet to see a single boat in the area enforcing rules. Given the economic importance of the whale sharks to the area you'd think it would be a higher priority.

Southern California
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2. Re: Whale Sharks vs. ¨Pirate¨Boats

Isla Mujeres has a large naval base and it is my understanding (may be wrong) that the Navy is to enforce the rules, so why are they not present more?

Cozumel, Mexico
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for Cozumel, Merida
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3. Re: Whale Sharks vs. ¨Pirate¨Boats

Good questions. Mexico is often good and making rules and not enforcing. Could be several reasons the boats are allowed to operate unchallenged by the authorities.

new york
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for Isla Mujeres
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4. Re: Whale Sharks vs. ¨Pirate¨Boats

The more I read about this the less inclined I am to promote swimming with whale sharks.

Sykesville, Maryland
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358 posts
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5. Re: Whale Sharks vs. ¨Pirate¨Boats

I have stopped promoting it, and am hoping other people do so as well. It is completely out of hand, and will continue to get worse. I know the whale sharks are following a food source, but I can't see how this won't cause them to change their migrating patterns.

oakville, ON
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for Oakville
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6. Re: Whale Sharks vs. ¨Pirate¨Boats

we made the decision to not swim with the whale sharks on our upcoming trip due to several things we have read about this situation... it has been on my bucket list but I feel strongly enough about it that I am letting it go.

I wonder if some type of awareness program ( letter writing or something) would prompt action by the authorities. This is so sad to me. May as well be the same thing as the horrible dolphin experience.

Chicago, Illinois
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for Isla Mujeres
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7. Re: Whale Sharks vs. ¨Pirate¨Boats

I've been thinking the same thing all afternoon. My inclination is to find some way to express the combined desires of thousands of Isla visitors that the rules be better enforced rather than to convince them that whale shark tours should not be allowed, although it should be made clear that those expressing this feeling do not support whale shark tours with no regulation. I'd like to talk to a few key people on Isla next week to get some ideas on the best way to approach this.

Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Whale Sharks vs. ¨Pirate¨Boats

The price people pay to see Whale Sharks is just to much for many boat owners to pass up.

In a country where the people make a very less then desirable wage you will always get people bending the rules or breaking laws to make money.

As long as tourists want to see them and pay a premium to do so you will get plenty of boat owners to take them out.

Supply on demand type of thing. It will never stop as corruption takes over and the whale sharks suffer..

Steamboat Springs...
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9. Re: Whale Sharks vs. ¨Pirate¨Boats

Sad to read of this. My experience last month was nothing like that- at least 2 or 3 sharks for only the two of us in the water at a time. The boats were spread out, shark numbers were well over a hundred, and rules were enforced. By noon many of the boats had left. We (8 of us on the boat) were the only ones around for 1000s of feet. A lone manta ray paid us a visit as well, and we were the only ones to see it. The whole trip was magical.

Very very sorry to hear of the abuses of those who should not be out in the water in the first place. Of course there is always something to ruin it for the many who work hard and provide a legitimate, safe, and professional service for a trip of a lifetime. I hope they can get this under control before Isla Mujeres loses a lot of business. This is a lifeline to them during the summer months, no?

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: Whale Sharks vs. ¨Pirate¨Boats

I get the impression that for the most part, the boats ignoring the rules are not from Isla. I say this because of the descriptions of boats involved in specific incidents--they sound much larger than a typical whale shark boat from Isla.