Whale shark research in Mexico

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Date
Price
Basis
18 Jul 2020
£2090
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 18 Jul 2020 departure
25 Jul 2020
£2090
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 25 Jul 2020 departure
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Whale shark research in Mexico

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

Aqua-Firma provide a contribution to rainforest rehabilitation and purchase when you book with us. Funds committed so far have paid to create 10,000 acres of protected forest within a new 5.9 million acres of national park, national reserve and 57 community owned territories in Amazonian Peru. This has also allowed us to help fund the protection of more than 1,000 acres of rainforest in Madagascar, plus new forest reserves in western Ecuador.

We work hard to protect and conserve the destinations we visit around the world. We support local research and NGOs within Mexico with aims to improve more sustainable tourism practices in the short terms so as not to over exploit it in the long term.

Whilst on these trips, your-on board guide will share his knowledge about the whale sharks as well as some of the conservation issues which they face here and around the world. Passengers are always full briefed about keeping an appropriate distance from the whale sharks, to respect them and never to touch.

Community

Waters off the north east coast of Mexicoís Yucatan Peninsula are some of the richest in the world for pelagic marine life: a location where we not only see Whale Sharks, but can sometimes snorkel with schools of 100 or more Giant Manta Rays, Dolphins, Golden Cownose Rays, Mobula Rays, Turtles and see Sail Fish exploding out of the water. Government cut backs have meant that development of an effective management plan has fallen largely to unpaid researchers from the local community, some of whom were previously employed by the government. These trips help to provide these researchers with a livelihood and pay for their continued boat-based research and monitoring trips amongst this incredible abundance of marine life.

A critical part of our local research teamís work is to structure a voluntary code of conduct for marine tourism operators in the area. This is designed to help them operate profitably and sustainably as an alternative to fishing, which has often been the largest contributor to loss of manta rays, mobula rays, golden cownose rays and fish whose eggs contribute to the largest annual aggregation of whale sharks on the planet.

Further aims are to create a marine park to protect whale sharks from their largest cause of death: strikes by large ships. These large ship strikes not only cause the death of marine life, but also risk eliminating a sustainable resource for the local community.

We urge you to come and enjoy one of our oceanís most spectacular accumulations of marine life, with local and international whale shark experts, washed down with Mexican food, drink, culture and hospitality.

2 Reviews of Whale shark research in Mexico

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 20 Aug 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Fantastic trip with many memorable moments - swimming with the whale sharks was amazing and swimming with 2 manta rays and seeing their courtship ritual on the final day was magical.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Whale sharks were approx. 90 mins by boat from Isla Mujeres and it can be quite a bumpy ride so take medication if you are prone to sea sickness.


3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, we stayed in a local hotel. The holiday company provided reusable water bottles and had arranged for the bar in the hotel to refill these for free. The trip helped support the local whale shark research charity and also Marine megafauna foundation.


4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent

Reviewed on 13 Aug 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Snorkeling with multiple whale sharks was awesome. We got so close. Dr Chris Rohner, the marine biologist, on this trip was able to take whale shark skin
samples which we were given the opportunity to prepare before they were sent to the lab for DNA analysis.
Watching male mobular rays chasing a female was a real privilege as we were in the sea with them. The real highlight for me was snorkelling with two giant
oceanic manta rays!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Practice snorkelling first as you are in the sea lots and you need to feel comfortable. Bring an underwater camera / gopro so you can fully participate in taking ID photos of the whale sharks. These are then uploaded onto an international database.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We were given re fillable bottles and there was water available at the hotel. This helped reduce plastic waste. We were encouraged to collect any plastic
floating in the sea. Local dive guides were employed by aqua firma.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


AMAZING ... we took a 13 and 17 year old with us who got so much out of this ... they are both fascinated by cetaceans and were competent swimmers /
snorkellers.

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