31/07/2008The National Comission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) declared August 30th as International Whale Shark Day

Cancun recognizes and backs the efforts made by CONANP in favor of the conservation of the whale shark as one of the privileged areas enjoying the presence of this fabulous creature.

Cancun Quintana Roo, July 31, 2008. - The National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) announced August 30th as International Whale Shark Day during the International Whale Shark Conference, carried out in Isla Holbox on July 15-20th. Representatives from over 40 countries joined together to recognize the positive impact and benefits obtained from the arrival of the species.

Represented by more than 40 countries, CONANP considers this charismatic species has significant environmental and economic benefits, thus generating a positive social impact. With the designation of International Whale Shark Day in this global convention,Mexico was recognized as a side by side nation withIndia as they share the phenomenon of the sighting of this species.

Mr. Alfredo Arellano, Director of the Yucatan Peninsula and Mexican Caribbean Regions for the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas, expressed that the designation of a special date will allow to create and reinforce agreements on regulations to protect the species and its habitat, as it involves service providers who get economic benefits from the ecotourism activity of swimming and observing the whale shark. According to Mr. Arellano, among the main challenges is the consolidation of the new decree to extend the Yum Balam Protection Area of Flora and Fauna,where the sightseeing of whale sharks takes place - which intends to include the entire surface where this species spreads.

With this news,Cancun joins the efforts to support all the activities performed in relation to the celebration of this species. For such purpose, there are plans to communicate its importance and the need of preserving these creatures through conferences and discussions at schools.

Among the activities currently conducted in the involved areas are trainings for tour guides that aim to establish control over the conservation and setting of the load capacity of vessels authorized to visit, monitor and do research on the species.

For more information contact: CONANP / DCCC / Sub direction of Information, Phone number: 54497000 extension 17144 or 17195jsolis@conanp.gob.mxornvazquez@conanp.gob.mx

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Cancun is located at the north of Quintana Roo, in the southeast of Mexico. The isle of Cancun has the shape of a “7” and is surrounded at the north by Bahia de Mujeres; at the east by the Caribbean Sea and at the west by the Nichupte Lagoon…Cancun is the largest tourism destination of Mexico with a total of 28,808 rooms. The opportunities to live new experiences is the order of the day in Cancun as the environment allows to coexist with the nature and the Mayan culture as in no other place.

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