Sharks recover near Mexican coast, expected to boost tourism
The number of sharks has been on rise in recent months in the Bay of La Paz in Mexico’s Pacific almost-island state of Baja California Sur, a sign of recovery two years after the total ban of fishing to save the species.
(Soundbite) Carlos Sanchez Ortiz, Research Professor of UABCS
“It is a good sign that we see sharks on the coast. The sharks are out there, but it still lacks regulation for what humans do in the nature. In fact the Bay of La Paz was world famous for diving and watching hammerhead sharks. (Before the ban) the shark population was virtually none (due to overfishing).”
The research by the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur, or UABCS in short, over the past 30 years indicates that up to 600 hammerhead sharks can be spotted now, in comparison with only two or three prior to the ban.
(Soundbite) Rodrigo Rocha, Conservation and Pelagic Specialist.
“We used to have sharks almost eight or nine meters long, some even up to 10 meters long. The advantage we have is that when there is a lot of food during this season, the sharks will focus on food and one can stand aside to watch.”
Meanwhile, the revival of sharks and other marine creatures is widely expected to boost the local tourism, which used to be a pillar of revenues for the local economy.
(Soundbite) Fabricio Mujica, Tourism Employee
“The increase of sharks in the Bay of La Paz makes us very happy. It tells us that the recovery of the ecosystem makes sharks and other species prosper, maybe to an extraordinary scale soon in the future.”