I am down here with other folks from the aquarium as well as other scientists, government folks and ecotour operators for the 3rd annual Whale Shark Festival in the beautiful Yucatan location of Isla Mujeres. Here's some short videos that might give you the flavour of whats been going on.
Here's Beatrix and Rafael de la Parra from Proyecto Domino explaining the importance to Isla Mujeres of whale shark movements to and from Utila in Honduras. The audience is mostly ecotour operators and members of the public. Bob Hueter from Mote spoke about threats to whale sharks, while Darcy Bradley from ECOCEAN talked about their program and I chimed in for a talk on whale shark research at Georgia Aquarium
Check out this inflatable whale shark from the festival parade - that thing is made of awesome! Later that night they illuminated it from the inside and it watched over the stage show and the Ms Whale Shark awards, where they elected a grandma as queen of the festival!
This is Teatro del Mar, and educational puppet show that Amigos de Isla Contoy have shown to thousands of school kids to improve ocean literacy. The kids were completely rapt!
And I couldn't resist putting in this clip of turtle hatchlings at the state run hatchery in Isla Mujeres. There's a lot of problems there with beach erosion and disturbance, so when turtles nest, they excavate the eggs and bring them to the hatchery, where they have a cool fenced off area where the eggs are reburied and incubated until they hatch. Warning, cuteness overload a distinct possibility...
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