Imagine that you are swimming in the ocean many miles from the shore. You float quietly in the endless blue, and if you look down, you can see the sun’s rays get lost in the deep. Suddenly you see a shadow, a slight movement, and just a few seconds later you see the big shadow in front of you… the silhouette of a beautiful whale shark is approaching and now you can distinguish its gray color and the white spots on its back.
But there is nothing to fear. The whale shark is huge (on average they measure some 14 meters long), but peaceful and harmless, since they feed only on plankton. In the Mexican Caribbean we are very lucky to welcome them as visitors and be able to swim with them from May to September.
It is an adrenaline-filled encounter, but afterwards there is time for reflection. On June 8, World Oceans Day is celebrated to remember the invaluable resources that the sea offers us… oxygen, food and happiness.
Due to poor management of resources and waste, the sea is currently suffering a severe crisis that endangers many marine species. According to the United Nations, every year 13 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean, which causes, among other damage, the death of some one hundred thousand marine animals annually. Only by being aware and making better decisions can we reverse this damage and continue to enjoy the sea’s benefits.