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Rules and Restrictions - Protect Yourself and the Whale Sharks You'll Encounter

The creation of the Whale Shark tourism industry in this area of Mexico was carefully designed to be eco-friendly and to provide protection for participants and the Whale Sharks themselves. Prices, season dates and rules are set by the controlling bodies and are strict and heavily enforced. Our tour services are fully licensed and adhere strictly to the rules. Violating the rules not only puts you in danger but also endangers the animals and their ability to sustain their habits.

If you decide to use another provider, be sure to verify that they comply with all rules listed below. The Mexican Army is charged with enforcing rules and can detain non-compliant boats who do not comply with the rules. We want everyone to have a fun, exciting and ultimately safe tour no matter which provider they choose.

DO NOT BOARD TOURS USING DIESEL ENGINES, THE RESIDUE HARMS THE WHALE SHARKS!

Beware of anyone offering you a price below the legal standard or who claims they will allow you to violate the rules below. No one wants to waste a day of their vacation or hard earned money with a spoiled trip.

Support your local tour operators by booking directly with them rather than with large tour operators!

Rules and Regulations

Only two participants and one guide permitted in the water at a time

To be eligible to participate in the Whale Shark Tours, Providers, Boats and Guides must all have separate licensing.

Guides have visible at all times their SECTUR permit and must complete courses and be certified for:

  • CPR/First Aid
  • Tourism Snorkeling Guide Certification
  • Whale Shark Biology Course
  • Group Management in Protected and Unprotected Areas

Boats must not exceed the capacity limitations indicated below including:

  • Anyone over two years of age is counted as a passenger
  • Captain and Guide are included in the count

Boat Size/Passengers Permitted

  • 25' - 6 persons
  • 26' - 7 persons
  • 27' - 8 persons
  • 28' - 9 persons
  • 29' and over - 10 persons
  • Boats over 33' are not permitted to enter the Whale Shark area




























































































If you have questions about our Whale Shark Tours, please check our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. If you do not find the response you were looking for there, we recommend posting your questions to the Isla Mujeres Q&A Message Board.

For questions, email seariousdiving@yahoo.com.