Each year, between June and September, one of the most amazing marine events in the world occurs just north of the sleepy Island of Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Known locally as the Afuera, incredible numbers of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) gather in large dense groups to feed. Each full moon at this time of year, huge groups of little tunny (Euthynnus alletteratus) spawn their eggs into the water column, resulting in a a bonanza of food for the large zooplankton feeders.
Wetpixel has been running photographic trips to the event every year since 2010. 2103 proved to be an amazing year, with large numbers of sharks, packed densely (particularly when the site was quiet), and with the bonus of large numbers of manta rays (Manta birostris) joining the spectacle. The weather was kind and the whale sharks were plentiful!
It is almost impossible to describe the feeling of being among and surrounded by so many of the largest fish in the oceans. The aggregation is without doubt unique and unlike anything else that one is likely to experience. If you haven’t been yet, you really should. Wetpixel will be returning again in 2014, please see the trip’s page for more details.
This Full Frame feature is a compendium of images shot by some of the participants during the 2013 trips. We hope you enjoy the images as much as we enjoyed capturing them.