Information About Guadalupe Island, Mexico
1. Cage diving at Guadalupe Island is not solely reserved for certified scuba divers. Anyone can also partake in diving with Great White sharks through the use of a hookah and shark cages that stay on the surface.
2. Shark researchers at Isla Guadalupe have identified over 300+ individual white sharks who regularly visit Guadalupe Island. Each individual has its own name, and the crew on the MV Horizon can usually tell guests which sharks they are seeing in the water. If you take a photo of a shark that is not yet identified, the naming rights are all yours.
3. During the Guadalupe season, there are two important periods. From July to August, very active juvenile males frequent the island. Huge females arrive around at the end of summer and stay until mid November. The island is a mating hotspot for Great White sharks, and there have even been some baby sharks observed in recent years.
4. Mature females can often be seen around the island sporting gruesome bite marks and other scratches. This can be a result of the violent mating rituals of Great Whites. To reproduce, males must hold onto the female by biting the area around the gills and pectoral fins.
5. One of the major reasons Guadalupe is a beacon to a large number of Great White sharks is the Guadalupe Fur Seal. One of six fur seal species in the world, this shark food source was once pushed close to extinction by commercial sealers in the 19th Century. Luckily, the fur seal population has since recovered to numbers in excess of 10,000.
6. The island of Guadalupe has an elongated shape and was originally formed by two overlapping shield volcanoes. Today, the island features a rugged landscape and reaches an elevation of 1,298m at Mount Augusta. There are a number of endemic species that call Guadalupe home. Some birds, including the Guadalupe rock wren, house finch and junco, only live on this small island. The same is true for a number of spider species and a range of plants.
7. Although extremely remote, Guadalupe does have a human population of just over 200 individuals. These inhabitants are mostly abalone and lobster fishermen who survive thanks to generators and a military vessel, which provides 30,000 liters of fresh water annually. There is also a shark research station on the island that provides invaluable data on the ocean’s most fearsome predator. Let’s dive!