Caribbean: October 2010 Archives

The world's largest living species of fish, whale sharks are internationally recognized as vulnerable, facing threats from commercial fishing and habitat destruction. In the summer months, as many as 300 whale sharks gather north of Isla Mujeres, off Cancun, and farther north near Holbox, Mexico. These gentle giants are welcoming to human visitors, and many divers have experienced the thrill of swimming with them. Trouble is, several times a week, huge cargo ships travel through congregation sites, sometimes striking the slow-moving creatures. Currently, there are no demarcation buoys to create shipping lanes and warn ship captains to stay clear because of the vulnerable whale sharks. Seacology is working with local guides to deploy a series of state-of-the-art demarcation buoys complete with GPS transponders that will warn ships to stay clear. Once these buoys are deployed, official navigation charts would also denote the area as a whale shark reserve.
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Seacology has teamed up with Undercurrent, a leading dive magazine, to help protect the whale sharks that make their home around Mexico. Undercurrent subscribers have already contributed nearly $6,000 toward the $45,000 needed for the buoy project, and the local tour operators, hotels, and other businesses in the area will be donating up to half the cost, as long as Seacology can raise the rest. Now, for every dollar you give to this project, Undercurrent subscriber Elaine Mathews of Long Beach, California, will match it with a dollar of her own, up to $5000. That's right; your tax-deductible contribution will be doubled. Please help protect these gentle giants, by donating to Seacology. Be sure to note that your tax-deductible donation is for the whale shark buoy project. Remember, every dollar you give will be doubled, thanks to the generosity of Elaine Mathews' matching gift. Please donate now to help save the whale sharks!