Cancun, Q.R. – Numerous businesses have already begun apply for permits in preparation for the upcoming whale shark season.
The season, which officially begins May 15, will see more than 75 tourist boats head to the waters on a near daily basis in search of the wondrous fish. Swimming with whale sharks has become a highly popular tourist activity in the sea around Cancun, Holbox, Isla Contoy and Isla Mujeres.
The whale shark is a slow-moving filter feeding shark and the largest known extant fish species. They have very large mouths and feed almost exclusively on plankton and therefore, are completely harmless to humans. They are found in open waters of the tropical oceans, living in the open sea but not in the greater depths of the ocean.
The average size of adult whale sharks is estimated at 9.7 meters (31.82 feet) and 9 tonnes (20,000 lb). The whale shark lives about 70 years.
Whale shark season for the region runs May 15 to September 15 when hundreds of them appear in local waters for their annual migration.