International Whale Shark Day August 30, 2010
(Dive Travel Business News - August 11, 2010) -- International Whale Shark Day is August 30, 2010. The northern tip of the Yucatan is known for it's annual whale shark migration near Isla Holbox or Holbox Island.The migration starts mid-June until September where aggregations of up to 400 giant fish have been observed
The congregation of so many animals is unusual. Holbox Island is unique in that it is located where the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico join. There are upwellings of nutrient rich water that feed the food chain that contains everything from the tiniest plankton to schools of fish, sea birds, flamingos and ibis and of course, the giant yet vulnerable whale shark. It is truly a special place.
Holbox Island is only the second instance where marine scientists have discovered whale sharks are feeding on not just plankton but also fish eggs that are suspended in the upwellings. Marine scientists from a variety of organizations have been working with Mexican scientists for more than seven years on studying, tagging and tracking the world's largest fish that can grow to 10 metres in length.
Local tour operators are trained as guides and can take visitors can swim with these gentle giants in this protected marine reserve. Scuba diving is not permitted and other sustainable tourism practices are being put in place to stem development that could adversely impact the whale shark population and the fragile ecosystem of Isla Holbox.
As part of International Whale Shark Day, the Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau has partnered with Apple Vacations to offer two roundtrip tickets to Cancun, hotel accommodations and the opportunity to swim with whale sharks, and celebrate International Whale Shark Day.
To enter the contest, the Cancun CVB is encouraging social media users to become fans of their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cancuncvb. By “liking” the page, users will be automatically entered to win a trip for two and randomly selected to receive a signature Cancun CVB stuffed whale shark.
Once they receive the whale shark, users can then submit a funny and unique photo of their stuffed whale shark and post it on the Cancun Facebook page. The person who submits most original and unique photo will win the tickets. The winner will be announced on International Whale Shark Day, Aug. 30, 2010.For more information, visit www.cancun.travel.
The following video is an excellent introduction to whale sharks and sustainable tourism that has developed around their annual migration. The video is by Kip Evans and Dr. Sylvia Earle of Deep Search Foundation:
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