The Target Project For Whale Shark Population In BCS

by Frank D. Gardner

The Population Of The Whale Shark

The aim of the 'Mexico Whale Shark Project" is to develop estimates on abundance, to learn about the specie's distribution, to carry photo identification as well as to monitor the movement of the species in the area.

The whale shark can grow up to 20 meters long and it is deemed to be the world's largest fish.

From the month April until June, the Mexico Whale Shark Project is going to carry out a process to census the population of that species, with support from boats under a campaign labeled as 'Wanted ... the giant of the ocean."

Director of the Mexico Whale Shark Project Mexico Consciousness, Deni Ramirez Macias and A. C. Graciela Tiburcio Pintos, the program coordinator for the Protection of Sea Turtles in Los Cabos, stated they'll have the citizens' support.

They pointed out that the project commenced with the support for the Sea Turtle Protection program from the Department of Ecology, World Wildlife Fund, Cabo Expeditions and The Network for Sea Turtle Protection and also entrepreneurs.

Graciela Tiburcio stated that, "The dynamics will be to seek the support from all captains, fishermen as well as diving companies to report whale shark sightings as well as monitor the site."

She stated that the goal is to generate reports that will establish estimates of abundance, learn about the distribution, make photo identification, tag the females present in various sites and check whether there are movements in such areas.

"We're also calling for the help and support from all of tourism service providers, fishermen, captains and everybody who spots a whale shark, to immediately report it through the maritime radio frequency", she mentioned.

Furthermore also recalled that Mexico is a country that has the privilege to have the visit of these magnificent animals and that the whale shark is definitely the world's largest fish, growing to 20 meters long.

It is in Isla Holbox, which is between the Gulf of Mexico and the Mexican Caribbean that the sharks can be found. In the Gulf of California, they could be seen in Bahia de Los Angeles, in the Bay of La Paz and also Gorda Banks basically 4 miles from San Jose del Cabo.

Deni Ramirez mentioned that the fact is that this gentle giants of the oceans is in great threat; It is currently protected as Mexico has made great efforts to preserve it.

Each and every year pregnant females go to Los Cabos, "which shows the value of these locations for the species. These areas are special across the globe since generally in most areas the whale sharks groups are adapted by small sized sharks," she stated.

She also said that the investigation of the females is a major challenge, owing to the fact that their shoal varies between April and June and covers a wide area, requiring a searching effort so large.

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