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Mexico has banned shark diving. It was very popular with tourists

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The Mexican authorities have decided to ban the popular activity among tourists, consisting in observing sharks in their natural habitat in the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Cage diving to admire these animals is harmful to them, according to the government.

Guadalupe Island, off the coast of the Mexican state of Baja California (Baja California) in the Pacific Ocean, is a popular destination for tourists who want to see sharks up close. Until now, they could dive in a special cage and observe these animals in their natural habitat or admire them from cruise boats. In this place – which is part of the Guadalupe Island Biosphere Reserve – there is a large concentration of great white sharks. However, the Mexican government decided to ban these activities.

Diving with sharksShutterstock

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Mexico bans shark diving

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According to CNN, citing local television Azteca, the Mexican authorities have banned tourist activities involving close-up observation of great white sharks, and explain this by protecting sharks. According to the government, cage diving is particularly harmful, especially considering that the companies offering these activities placed various shark baits in the water to give guests a more exciting experience. Mexico has also banned the use of drones over the region, except in exceptional cases, such as monitoring plants and animals for conservation purposes. Local media reports that the decision was made on January 10.

CNN notes that as the popular tourist activity will no longer be possible, this will impact the region’s previously busy economy and the businesses that offered trips to the area. However, some tour operators hope that the government’s decision will not be permanent and the reserve will be reopened to visitors.

Great white sharks are considered a “vulnerable” species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and are only one level short of being classified as endangered. One tour operator states on its website that 366 great white sharks have been identified in the Guadalupe Island area. Observing them consists in diving in a cage to a depth of about 9 meters. Up to nine sharks can circle around one cage.

CNN, guadalupegreatwhitesharks.com

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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