A Popular Mexican Destination Just Banned Shark Tourism, Here's What to Know
The decision is aimed at protecting the animals.
In the (hopefully, unlikely) scenario that you were just looking forward to being face to face with a great white shark in Mexico, you can just forget about it now.
In order to protect great whites, which are currently considered a "vulnerable" species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the country has decided to restrict shark-related tourism and activities within the Isla Guadalupe Biosphere Reserve, which includes Guadalupe Island itself, CNN reports. The ban also aims at protecting other local animals, including bottlenose dolphins, California sea lions, and even the Guadalupe Island fur seals.
The Baja California location has long been a hotspot for shark tourism, and both travelers and great white fans have flocked to the location for activities such as cage diving, sport fishing, and even "shark watching" from boats.
According to the Mexican government, such activities and experiences are actually harmful for great whites, which are just one classification level below being considered an "endangered" species. The issues come from the companies' common practices, which include using bait and other "attractants" in the water to enhance the shark-related experience.
Currently, it is unclear whether the ban will lift or stay in place indefinitely.