Location and species

75 miles north and south of the municipality of Zihuatanejo in SW Pacific Mexico. The species seen in this area are: Megaptera novaeangliae, Stenella atennuata, Steno bredanensis, Tursiops truncatus, Delphinus delphis, Stenella longirostris, Ziphius cavirostris, Orcinus orca, Globicephala, Physeter microcephalus.

Research

The site has a research team that is 3 years into a 5 year survey to identify species presence, determine seasonal and resident habitat usage and group composition types. They are also training local fishermen and guides on best boat practices around marine mammals in annual 2-day training events. Boat operators work alongside the research team as citizen scientists during the study period and they believe they will be one of the leaders in responsible marine mammal ecotourism in years to come.

Whale watching

A naturalist tour has begun which will be developed with fishermen as guides, which will run around the proposed area. The site has identified species of interest and minimally invasive ecotourism opportunities and educated local guides and fishermen on how best to conduct whale watching and given them the tools they need to provide informed, accurate information. One of the goals of the site is to create partnerships between ecologically responsible guide services and cetacean enthusiasts worldwide. By offering financial opportunities (marine ecotourism) to fishermen who would otherwise be turning to desperate alternate measures of aggressive and potentially dangerous (to cetacean) fishing, they are working to help to protect the marine mammals and also to alleviate pressure on the strained local fishery and cultivating awareness and pride about the marine mammals present in the region. Gaining recognition for Guerrero as a Mexican state where marine mammals are present and local guides have the capacity to share information about them with visitors, which will help to protect the ocean and the cetaceans present in the region.