The coasts of Sinaloa, an important place for the study and sighting of the humpback whale
Mazatlán, Sinaloa.- The Secretary of Tourism of Sinaloa, Ma. Del Rosario Torres Noriega carried out an expedition in the waters of the Pacific Ocean; She went out in search of whales and found them six miles out to sea. Seeing the marine colossi, it was a great show.
The state official was able to verify the effort that oceanologist Óscar Guzón Zaaráin, director of Onca Exploraciones, has made through adventure tourism for 15 years to register and study the passage of the humpback whale off the coast of Mazatlán.
For the Secretary of Tourism, Rosario Torres, offering this type of expedition can be an attraction during the Spanish Tourism Fair, which she will attend in January next year, with the aim of attracting European tourism.
During the trip, Óscar Guzón speaks with passion about the humpback whales that are part of the natural heritage of Sinaloa; of their songs, mating rituals, fights, physical constitution, population health, and their long journey through the waters of the North Pacific in search of food.
The researcher knows that when they arrive in Mexico, the humpback whales no longer come to eat, but to look for a mate, to reproduce, and to have their young, after 12 months of gestation. And with registration in hand, you even know how many whales have passed through Mazatlán.
In recent years, whale watching has become one of the most sought-after experiences by tourists visiting the port.
Guzón Zaaráin is an oceanologist from the Autonomous University of Baja California in Ensenada, Master of Science and is currently doing a PhD at the Faculty of Marine Sciences of the UAS.
A born explorer, Óscar Guzón is a highly documented guide.
During the tour he shares that photo-identification is used to monitor the whales, a wildlife photo study technique based on the recognition of the contour of the fin and natural marks over time – they can be stripes, scars, or pigmentation patterns on the tail. -, to find differences and identify whales.
“With this technique based on adventure tourism, in 15 years we have managed to identify more than 2000 whales in Mazatlán, that means that more than 20% of the population (of humpback whales) is passing through here, which places Mazatlán as a very important place for the study of whales, and that before, we did not know ”, adds the researcher.
Some of these cetaceans weigh 40 tons and enter the Mexican Pacific, attracted by the warmth of its oceanic waters.
With the support of students and researchers, Óscar Guzón focuses all research efforts towards the creation of a humpback whale management program in Sinaloa.
Registering where they are, when they appear, and what they do at the time of the sightings, has become something daily from the ecotourism platform promoted by Orca exploraciones and Legado Azul, a group made up of people who love the sea and whose actions have to do with conservation. of the oceans.
It is estimated that in the entire North Pacific, from Ecuador to the Arctic, between Asia and America, there are 21,000 humpback whales and of those, around 9,000 arrive in Mexico.
Guzón has spent fifteen years trying to protect the whales that arrive in Mazatlán. In 2006 he made his first trip to observe them and since then he has not stopped.
“This study that I am doing now is to shape all the knowledge that we have acquired in Mazatlán over 15 years. Studying whales is quite complicated not only because they are huge, but because they move a lot and navigating the sea is expensive ”, he comments.
Fortunately for this passionate whale researcher, ecotourism has been an incredible opportunity platform to study whales, because (trips with tourists), provide the opportunity to approach and register them, otherwise, the researcher would be forced to search for financing for your expeditions and research.
Finally, the head of the Sectur said that Sinaloa definitely falls in love with tourists and locals, so this is one more reason to seek that people beyond the borders can know the state of Sinaloa.
The Mazatlan Post