Image credit Chabilmar.People are now realizing that through tourism whale sharks are worth more alive and so countries such as the Maldives, Honduras, the Philippines and more recently India have passed laws to protect them.
He was so excited when I told him that I was going to build a shark cage for his Halloween costume. However, if tours are provided by people who are well educated about the needs of whale sharks this should not be a problem. The shark cage was made of fun noodles and the sharks and the air tanks on the top cage were made of half inch foam, assembled together with hot glue and then airbrushed for color. In Belize whale shark tour guides undergo just such training.Whale shark tour regulationsWhale sharks are curious, relatively slow moving, docile creatures.
At Gladden Spit, also known as The Elbow near Placencia, they will readily approach boats, snorkelers and divers if they feel unthreatened. Please be considerate.By adhering to these simple guidelines you will have the best chance of seeing and interacting with a whale shark.

When you encounter a whale shark, please note time, date and location, estimated size (in feet or meters), any scars, tag color and number, and the tour operator you were out.
Your help is greatly appreciated!An encounter with a whale shark – by Godsman EllisOn Sunday 22 September, last month we took a boat from Punta Gorda to Cortez, Honduras. The sea was at first choppy but as we passed the Barrier Reef the waves became rolling, though not rough. The waters were just blue and the skies clear.A mild breeze kept the heat of the shining sun at a tolerable level.
There were thousands of them almost forming a solid mass and not more than 8 inches from the surface. We headed toward them while Wil and Jack excitedly let down their fishing lines but before long they had gone deeper.We circled the area a couple times but there was not one bite on the lines.
After traveling some ten minutes there was another school of fishes and this time even bigger.

As we approached it I had mixed feelings but the other passengers were better knowledgeable about its behavior than I.
This gave me courage.The creature was almost motionless, measuring about 20 feet and the head some 3 feet across. We made a few close passes and at one time I put my hand into the water and TOUCHED IT.That was the high point of my experience. Everyone else agreed with me.The biologist remarked that he had made several trips to the area before purposely looking for whale sharks and this was his first time.
The trip took three hours and of course we spoke of nothing else for the rest of the way.Godsman Ellis is a founder and immediate past president of the Belize Tourism Industry Association.

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