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Sharks surround boat in ocean

These very lucky animal lovers are on an eco-tour in the open ocean to see whale sharks. They have chartered a boat through "Searious Divers", a highly ethical eco-tour company in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. The guests on the boat are wildlife photographers and videographers who are hoping to capture footage of the largest fish in the ocean. These whale sharks are actually fish, and part of the shark family, despite being called whale sharks. The name refers to their great size as they are as large as several whale species. Despite their size, whale sharks truly are the gentle giants of the ocean. They are filter feeders that are incapable of harming a human, even if they wanted to. They swim along at the surface, filtering water through their huge gills to capture plankton, krill, and tiny fish that they eat in great quantities. Lacking teeth, they cannot actually bite a person. They are also gentle in nature, preferring to swim away from a threat instead of confronting it. It is this wonderful gentleness that makes them so vulnerable. This group carefully selected their tour with "Serious Diving" one of the leaders in whale shark conservation. They have pushed for regulations that prohibit behavior on the part of tour operators that interfere with or harass these whale sharks as they feed. Ethical tour companies such as this one will carefully approach whale sharks, respect their distance, and watch for behavior that suggests the whale sharks are stressed by the presence of people and boats. In fact, on this day, the feeding area was crowded and a few tour operators were aggressively trying to place their guests too close to whale sharks. Serious Diving recommended that the group retreat to a quiet area, away from the sharks, to reduce pressure on them. In so doing, the group actually found that the whale sharks approached them curiously and were much more relaxed due to less crowding. This allowed for some wonderful opportunities to observe and record the sharks. At the end of their swim time, guests were taking a final look at the sharks from above the surface. Five whale sharks had approached and surrounded the boat while it remained still. The guests could not decide which shark to focus on as there were so many. This was a thrilling and unforgettable experience, made even more memorable by the guides who obviously cared enough about their impact on the animals to remove themselves from the situation. The end result was an experience that was better than expected. Animal lovers who want to see these incredible creatures should research and find ethical tour companies such as this one.
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