No Whale Sharks Trips This Year
Ever year, the Mexican government grants more and more permits to whale shark trip operators. Over the years the number of boats out in the water has grown to over 300! That is 300 boats in the water with 10 passengers each. This means that on any given day, there could be at least 3000 people (not counting the guides) chasing after whale sharks. Every year we hear about boat captains who carelessly chase them around to give their customers “a good experience” and there have been several instances of sharks being injured because of the propellers of their engines running over the whale sharks.
To us, this is unacceptable. We understand that our guests may want to do these trips, and we are sorry. This decision did not come lightly. We just cannot be a part of this. For this reason, we have decided that this year we will not be offering our guests these whale shark snorkeling trips.
We believe in Eco-Tourism. But it seems like this idea has run amok. It seems to be more of a catchphrase these days than anything else. With hundreds of boats, and thousands of people out every day, it seems like the concept of eco-tourism as a low impact activity has been lost and replaced by a monetary frenzy.
We sincerely hope that you will understand why we are doing this and that you will continue to support Beyond Diving, and that you will keep us as your go-to dive center in Playa del Carmen just as you have in the past 3 years since we first opened our doors.
If these trips were driven by research/conservation efforts rather than profit, another story this would be. But for this year at least, we will step away from them (at great financial loss to us).
Thank you for understanding.
Erik & Sandra – Owners, Beyond Diving.