Shark Diving is Now Banned in Mexico

If you’re a fan of diving with great white sharks, you’ve probably been to Guadalupe Island just off the west coast of Baja, California. This beautiful island has been a marine reserve since 2005 and many divers flock to this area between the months of November and June to  dive with the great white sharks.

In May 2022, the government of Mexico announced the closure of the reserve until December of the same year. This paved the way for research studies to be conducted to determine if shark diving is affecting the shark population in Guadalupe.

But it looks like this ban will be extended indefinitely based on a post by the Guadalupe Island Biosphere Reserve Management Program last January 9, 2023.

This ban has caused frustration among dive operators and great white shark divers, but the organization’s main reason for doing this is that they’ve seen many bad practices between 2016 and 2021. To protect the great white sharks in the area, the Mexican government decided to make the ban permanent.

A lot of liveaboard operators and businesses protested against this decision saying that the ban on great white shark diving could do more harm than good to the sharks. Some also argue that this ban is illegal and unprecedented, but the government stays firm with its decision to protect not only the great whites but also other sea animals like elephant seals, fur seals, bottlenose dolphins and seabirds.

According to the country’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP): “The prohibition of the observation of the white shark for recreational purposes eliminates the bad practices that put this species at risk due to the use of attractants and observation cages.”

They also added that this move would allow wildlife to live “without alternations such as noise, boat traffic, human interaction with fauna or the introduction of invasive species.”

Whether or not the government will change its mind is still up in the air. But for now, shark diving enthusiasts will need to find other destinations to experience cage diving since Guadalupe Island will be closed indefinitely from tourists and divers.

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