Puerto Vallarta receives authorization for whale-watching excursions during the 2021-2022 season


Two months before the start of the whale watching season on the Mexican coast of the Pacific Ocean, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) has determined which municipalities in the country will be authorized to practice recreational observation. whales.

In the case of Jalisco, Semarnat has published that tourist circuits can be carried out in the Bay of Banderas, in the municipalities of Puerto Vallarta and Cabo Corrientes, and in the Bay of Tenacatita, in La Huerta.

However, in Banderas Bay, the Secretariat establishes two restricted zones, the zone within a 1.5 kilometer radius around the Marietas Islands and the 2 kilometer wide coastal strip from Punta Mita, to the mouth of the Ameca River.

These limitations are determined by the fact that these are points where different species of whales congregate with their newborns, so contact with tourist groups is not suitable for them.

The season in which whale watching activities will be allowed in Jalisco runs from December 8, 2021 to March 23, 2022, as these are the months when adult mammals migrate to the warmer waters of the Pacific Ocean, looking for childbirth or mating.

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However, Semarnat recalls that whale watching activities must be carried out in accordance with NOM-131-Semarnat-2010, which indicates that vessels registered with the federal government to grant these visits must be duly identified by a visible flag.

In addition, this rule indicates that there can only be a maximum of four vessels observing the same whale at a minimum distance of 60 meters for small boats and 80 meters for larger boats, moreover, in the case of larger whale species, the minimum distance increases to 100 and 120 meters respectively.

If there are several boats interested in the same specimen, they must wait at a distance of 240 meters to avoid harassing the animal, and each boat will have up to 30 minutes for its occupants to appreciate the whale and then leave, this which will be when other boats can approach.

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