March whale shark encounters in Utila

Posted on April 8, 2009
Written by: Shark Savers

March 2009 has been filled with whale shark encounters, proving it to be indeed a prime time for sightings.

Here is the rundown as we speak:

    • 12 days of encounters recorded, of which
    • 5 males
    • 3 females
    • 5 unknown

Please note that more photos are still to be processed and those numbers could vary accordingly.

Visitors: We had the pleasure of hosting some whale sharks that were first spotted in Belize.

  • Shark BZ-021 seen here on March 24 was originally identified in Belize in May 2008
  • BZ-011 recorded on Utila on March 15 was on its 6th documented visit since April 1999
  • BZ-019 turned up on March 29 and was on its 5th recorded return since May 2008

Home Grown: Our own also came around to play:

  • H-016 (Old Tom?)has been here from March 20th to April 1st (at time of press) totalled 16 sightings since April 2005. This one is a fan!
  • New kids in town: H-075 (March 20) & H-076 (March 28).
  • H-060 stopped by on March 29, his 3rd time in our waters since April 08.

Should you be curious about our sharks, visit

So far: We are entering April already and I can tell you that since January 2008, we have not missed a beat. Every month of last year AND this year have sightings. That’s a 100% success rate!

The credit goes to all who took the time to send photos and fill out encounter sheets, all this information is thanks to you.

Do refer to the Code of Conduct for Encounter guidelines. It works!

I am available for a short presentation at your dive centre/ resort anytime.

Isabelle Foisy
Utila Whale Shark Research