Mexican State of Guerrero Implements Shark Attack Program

By: MP Mexico News Staff

Zihuatanejo, Mexico, — Mexico’s Pacific coast state of Guerrero has launched a plan to prevent shark attacks off the beaches of two of its municipalities: La Union and Zihuatanejo de Azueta.

Tourism Secretary Ernesto Rodriguez Escalona said the plan – known as the Prevention, Information and Vigilance Program – encompasses immediate preventative actions as well the preparation of studies and recommendations by shark experts such as American George Burgess, director of the Shark Research Program and curator of the International Shark Attack File, both based at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Burgess, who has conducted studies and kept statistics on more than 4,000 shark attacks worldwide, has been in Zihuatanejo since Tuesday.Rodrigu ez said that thus far no tourists have canceled their reservations and the tourist beaches remain open and are being protected by the prevention plan, which has been in effect since May 27.

Among the measures implemented in the first stage of the plan is the establishment of a special attention area that stretches for just over 15 kilometers, from Playa Saladita (Saladita Beach) to Playa Linda, and will be permanently patrolled by coastal and riverine craft. Additionally, two lifeguard towers have been installed in the area to increase surveillance and a telephone number will be assigned for emergency contact.

To further alert the population, the local government has printed 10,000 copies of a protection manual against shark attacks, to be distributed among tourists and local residents, and also has arranged for four-wheeler patrol vehicles to tour the area beaches.

Finally, to support this initiative and guarantee the safety of tourists and visitors, the state Tourism Secretariat, in conjunction with Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo’s Conventions and Visitor’s Bureau and the state’s Hotel and Motel Association, will issue regularly printed and electronic press bulletins and send them to leading media outlets.