Swimming with Whale Sharks in Sea of Cortez Open to Tourists in October
The Sea of Cortez, also known as the Gulf of California, will be officially open for whale shark tourism in October, according to the AdministracionPortuaria Integral, the Port Authority for the area.
Whale sharks feed in the plankton-rich waters of the Sea of Cortez from October through April each year. During this time, vessels granted the proper flag may transport guests to the feeding grounds of the animal, where they may then swim near them, keeping a distance of six feet from any side.
The whale shark is the largest fish in the ocean, measuring at least 40’ and weighing up to five tons. It is a filter feeder, harmless to humans, and able to feed on krill or plankton as multiple people swim nearby. Additionally, the whale shark is an enigma in many ways--including mating practices and birthing grounds--as it is a fairly unobserved animal, with scientists only beginning to study the fish within the last 20 years.
The migrational stop-over of the whale shark in the Sea of Cortez has spiked tourism numbers for La Paz, the gateway city to the inland sea, and number one location where the whale sharks gather to feed. Swimming with whale sharks, as a tourist activity, has only been around the past few years. Those that do it, claim it is akin to a spiritual experience.
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Oct 02, 2017