Cancun, Q.R. — The Federal Office of Environmental Protection (Profepa) says last week, they inspected boats offering tours for whale sharks.
Federal officers were out for two days with officials from the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp) to inspect boats in federal waters off Isla Contoy.
On the first day, Profepa says they suspended a boat, Los Hermanos JMRS, from all observation, swimming and snorkeling activities with whale sharks for operating with an expired license, which is granted by Conap.
Over the two days, another four boats were suspended from providing tourist services when they found the boat captains failed to carry the necessary authorization onboard.
They say that two of the four boats were private and two were tourist, all of whom headed out to sea to with the intention of observing and swimming with whale sharks.
Before the concluded their rounds, a fishing vessel was spotted in known whale shark waters. That boat was also removed from the area.
Profepa says in total, they inspected 53 boats for tourist activities that include the observation, swimming and free diving with whale sharks as well as verifying licenses and issuance by the General Directorate of Wildlife of the Secretariat of the Environment.
Whale shark season runs May 15 to mid-September when more than 400 of the world’s largest fish spend the four-months between the islands of Isla Contoy and Isla Mujeres.