Snorkelers swim with a whale shark, the world’s largest fish, at South Ari Atoll, in the Maldives, August 2012. While not illegal, surfing a whale shark is considered ‘inherently dangerous.’ (DAVID LOH/REUTERS)
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Swimming with whale sharks in MexicoThey may be called whale sharks but there's nothing to fear encountering one of these giant fish in the ocean -- so much so that tourists in northwestern Mexico can swim alongside them on organized tours.Starting in October, when these massive creatures -- Latin name Rhincodon typus -- come close to shore, tourists converge on the area in boats carrying 10 people.These observation activities are regulated in Mexico by the environment ministry, which checks on groups getting too close and fines any boats not sticking to the rules designed to protect the whale sharks.
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