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Isla Mujeres fishermen considering shark tours rather than hunts

Isla Mujeres, Q.R. — Fishermen on Isla Mujeres say they are considering offering shark tours rather than their traditional shark hunting, an activity islanders have practiced for decades.

Although the activity of shark tours is not new in the state of Quintana Roo, it would be something new for them. Offering shark sightseeing and swimming tours would be a sustainable activity that could also bring income for the local seamen.

Raciel Rivero, president of the cooperative Patria y Progreso, the main shark trader and exporter in Isla Mujeres, explained that after a meeting with other presidents of the fishing cooperatives, the possibility was considered as a viable and sustainable alternative.

For decades, local island fishermen have hunted and sold sharks, however with the declining numbers, a new sustainable approach could provide them with a way to continue making a living from the elasmobranch fish.

Isla Mujeres Cooperatives fishermen

Rivero explained that for now, it is an approach and that they would be seeking advice on beginning the new activity for Isla Mujeres including compliance with local laws. He said that the support of professionals will be sought so that the activity can be productive and stop the depredation of the species.

He recalled that in other destinations such as Tulum, shark tours are already offered to tourists who come looking for a new way to interact with the local marine life.