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August 30, 2016

International Day of the Whale Shark

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The Mexican Caribbean has all the physical and nutritive conditions to harbor the charismatic Whale Shark, the biggest shark in the world! This August 30th, we will celebrate the International Day of the Whale Shark, and here is a little more information about this impressive specie.

About the Whale Shark

This animal is 15 to 18 meters tall and weighs 34 tons. Contrary to others sharks, this specie feeds off great amounts of plankton, very small organisms that are filtered through its 27,000 teeth. 

The whale shark is distributed across all the warm oceans around the world. Its presence is registered in over 125 countries, due to the fact that it is a highly migratory specie which can regroup into dozens and even hundreds of individuals. The longest trip registered for this specie is 13,000 kilometers, from the Gulf of California to the Australian waters.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) categorized the Whale Shark as a specie in danger of extinction and the main causes are the change in habitat as well as fishing practices for commercial purposes. 

Mexico is lucky to harbor this specie. On the Pacific Coast, the Whale Shark can be found in the states of Baja California and Southern Baja California. On the side of the Atlantic Ocean, this fish is found in the northern region of the Mexican Caribbean and to the north of Holbox Island.

In fact, one of the world’s largest group of whale sharks (150 individuals) has been registered here, they migrate there every year from May to September. Being the biggest shark in the world, and similarly to other species such as dolphins, turtles and triggerfishes, this specie frequently comes to this region because of the wide availability of food. 

In this region, it is possible to see this majestic animal up close, which is why if you decide to know this specie on your next vacation in Cancun, remember to follow all the instructions given by the certified guides to avoid bothering the Whale Sharks or affecting their natural environment. 

Don’t forget that even during your vacations in Cancun, you must take care of the environment and as a consequence take care of the Whale Shark, a very important specie for the marine ecosystem. For a brilliant blue planet!

Swim with dolphins in Cancún