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11 Whales Rescued in Banderas Bay During 2023-2024 Season

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – During the 2023-2024 whale watching season, RABEN teams successfully released 11 entangled whales, as reported by Astrid Frisch Jordán, the national coordinator of the Entangled Whale Assistance Network groups. These teams remain on alert until the last whale leaves, even though the season officially concluded on March 23.

This season witnessed a notable increase in whale mortality in Banderas Bay, prompting three necropsies to support the stranding network. The results of these necropsies will be announced later through an official statement, providing insights into entanglements and strandings during the season.

Frisch, who also leads the civil association Ecology and Conservation of Whales (ECOBAC), noted the continuation of research monitoring, which identified some familiar whales. The “Less Speed = More Lives” campaign was intensified to mitigate collisions between boats and whales. To conclude the season, a grand opening event for the new mascot “La Bonita” was held at La Cruz Market, a Sunday event at the Marina Riviera Nayarit.

La Bonita, a 13-meter-long inflatable whale, serves as an educational tool, allowing visitors to explore its interior and understand whale anatomy. The mascot was named in honor of a female whale (3BB092) that has frequented Banderas Bay since 2002 and birthed at least 5 offspring.

Emphasizing the dangers posed by collisions between whales and boats, efforts were made to reinforce the “Less Speed = More Lives” campaign. This included the distribution of banners in marinas and boarding points throughout Banderas Bay and Los Cabos, along with advertisements on buses along the Puerto Vallarta-Punta de Mita route during January and February, and the creation of decals highlighting the issue.

Furthermore, Cindy, the ambassador of the “Less Speed = More Lives” and “Swim for Whales” campaigns, returned to the Bay of Banderas this year with a new calf. A new video was produced to share Cindy’s story, illustrating hope as she survived a collision and serves as an inspiration.

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