Regarding the Sept. 25 Health & Science article “Gigantic sharks are victims of popularity”:
In 2005, my wife and I swam with whale sharks near Holbox, a remote island off the northern Yucatan Peninsula. The boat operators strictly controlled the tourist snorkelers: only two people in the water per shark, a limited number of boats in an area and no chasing the sharks.
Last summer, we did it again, but this time we arranged a tour from Cancun. The water was rough, and the sharks were swimming relatively deep, so there were few to see. We ended up with passengers from 20 other boats chasing one poor shark, whose dorsal fin previously had been mangled by an outboard motor.
As the time of our departure approached, the boat drivers, in an attempt to give everyone a chance to swim with the shark, dumped as many as six to eight swimmers on top of it. There was no way it could feed because it was trying to avoid the people and boats. We saw the boats of local authorities, but those people did nothing to correct the problems.
Robert A. Speir, Falls Church