All great white shark tourism off Guadalupe Island has been permanently closed, according to the Mexican government.
In a policy statement on the Biosphere Reserve of Guadalupe Island issued on January 9th, the Mexican government said:
“White shark observation may not be carried out in the Reserve for tourist purposes, to avoid altering their habitat, behavior and feeding sites, and thereby preserve and conserve the species.”
The reserve had been closed temporarily in 2021, a ban that was extended through the 2022 season.
The decision has been met with disappointment among shark tourism operators in the region, with local tour operator Be A Shark Diving and Adventure Travel saying:
“While we believe the rationale of the updated Management Program is well-intentioned, the unilateral decision to close the reserve in this way raises genuine concerns over the future well-being of Eastern Pacific White Sharks. Mexico has the opportunity to protect and safeguard this important population of sharks which visit waters around Guadalupe Island as part of their much wider migration cycle. We believe the new provisions may be counter-productive. This is a vital aggregation site for white sharks and of critical global importance to the species.”
MV Horizon Update – New Beginnings – Company SoldTo ALL our divers who we have called family over the past 30+ years of dive and shark adventures here in SoCal and Baja we want to say THANK YOU. Thank you for your sense of adventure. Your goodwill. Your smiles. Thank you for making us the #1 dive boat in Southern California and helping us pioneer sustainable cage diving at Guadalupe Island, you are our family.Unfortunately, the closure of Guadalupe Island has left us financially tapped out. We cannot do the right thing by our divers with $500,000 in refunds and stay in business. So we made the decision to sell the company to a new operator who will be taking the MV Horizon in a new direction at the end of February 2023.The closure was the second hit we took after COVID, handing back thousands to our divers at that time. The dive industry is a tough industry and we get that. We fought pretty hard for Guadalupe with our lawsuit challenging the 2022 closure but we came up short and we apologise to you for that. We really tried. Next Steps?The MV Horizon will continue to refund diver deposits and we are asking if you can leave a little behind to consider it. We are fully committed to doing the right thing as we always have. Other vessels are not giving diver money back for the Guadalupe closure and that's unfortunate. This is not the way the dive industry should treat it's valued guests. Our website will change on February 28th and our social media will change on that date as well as the new company launches. We wish them the very best. Stay tuned. Guadalupe Skywatch ProgramWe are asking all our divers who are still interested in #guadalupeisland and the fate of the great white sharks we have all come to love to like, share, and follow the Guadalupe Island Skywatch page. Satellite monitoring will watch over the island for illegal shark fishing in the coming years providing a 24/7 conservation tool. Your support at this page will help. One last thing we can do for the sharks as we cannot monitor them in person. https://www.facebook.com/GuadalupeskywatchOnce again THANK YOU on behalf of the entire crew of the MV Horizon and the owners. We'll miss you all, it was an amazing 30+ years. Cheers, MV Horizon Crew
Posted by Horizon Charters America's Shark Boat on Sunday, January 22, 2023