The biggest fish in the world swim in the waters around Holbox, Mexico ever year. Though they are called whale sharks, have 300 teeth, and can grow to 18 meters long, they are completely harmless. Their presence has also brought hordes of eco-tourists that hope to swim with these massive, beautiful creatures.
A group of normally solitary sharks come together to feed on the mass of plankton and other tiny organisms that gathers near the tiny Mexican island every year from July to September.
With the influx of tourists who hope to see these creatures, comes the desire to develop the area and build big resorts, much like those found 100 miles south in Cancun. So far, small eco-hotels have serviced the island’s needs, but since the island has become whale shark central, the number of those hotels has doubled.
Investors have recently unveiled plans for a major resort, which locals say could damage the fragile environment. Holbox is part of a national park, meaning much of the island is reserved for birds and mangroves. However Mexico’s laws do not prevent a Cancun style development on the island. The resort has currently been put on hold by Mexico’s environmental authorities.
The island is safe for now, and the views are incredible. Correspondent John Holman reports from the tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.