Aboard Quino el Guardian

Aboard Quino el Guardian

Quino El Guardian offers a truly unique experience with our Citizen Science Program. These trips include a marine biologist specializing in subjects such as manta rays, sharks, humpback whales, marine mammals, marine ecology, pelagics, reef ecology, invertebrate ecology, diving science and medicine and more. Activities include animal identification, tagging, fish/animal counts, census monitoring, human and climate impact studies, etc.

Much of the information that is collected is included in papers and presentations to governments and NGO's to help with the conservation of these areas and animals. In addition, this information is provided to websites to educate lay persons helping to further conservation awareness.

Divers can be involved as much or as little as they like including hands-on research and will enjoy interactive evening presentations by the scientists.

Join us on one of these amazing expeditions and you will never look at the ocean the same again.

We host the scientist on these trips. $200 is added to the price and given to the scientist to help them pay for supplies and expenses.


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Ultrasound Pregnant Whale Sharks and Manta Rays with Dr. Deni Ramirez

November 21 - 30, 2023
Ultrasound Pregnant Whale Sharks and Manta Rays
Dr. Deni Ramirez "The Whale Shark Queen"
$3700 per person, quad occupancy

The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) and the giant manta ray (Mobula birostris) are filter feeder elasmobranchs. In some countries, these species constitute a fishing resource, while in other countries, they are more valuable as an opportunity to attract tourism. Therefore, the sustainable exploitation of these species depends significantly on the knowledge of their populations. This knowledge is minimal.

Both species are especially vulnerable due to their biological characteristics as they are slow-growing, late to reach sexual maturity, and found in small populations. All of this is why the IUCN Red List recognizes these species for the Conservation of Nature.

In the Archipielago de Revillagigedo, we can find giant manta rays and whale sharks that enable Dr. Dení Ramírez Macías and her team to study these charismatic giants. Their studies have focused on demonstrating the presence of pregnant females in both species showing that this is a critical habitat for these elasmobranchs and requires a top priority for its conservation.

Our expedition will focus on obtaining an ultrasound in females of both species to corroborate that they are pregnant and to evaluate the degree of the embryonic development. This information will help to substantiate the theory that these waters are necessary for reproduction and to strengthen the protection of habitat for the conservation of the species. A second goal will be to place a satellite tag to see her movements.

Our goal is to use the regular itinerary for diving in Socorro, knowing that we will be open to using any opportunity that presents itself to ultrasound whale sharks and manta rays.

Deni will also be doing presentations throughout the trip. These presentations will include but not be limited to:

1. Following the Giants: Whale Sharks
2. Conservation Biology of the Whale Shark
3. The Giant Manta Rays from Revillagigedo
4. Ultrasound on Mobula Rays
5. I3S software for whale shark and giant manta ray photo identification

Dr. Deni Ramirez


Dr. Dení Ramírez-Macías is the director of Whale Shark Mexico, a passionate conservationist, powerful advocate for the ocean, and pioneer in her field. As a scientist, her innovations both above and below the sea have led to the founding of multiple NGO’s, numerous scientific publications, advanced the careers of her students, and has inspired future generations to take an active role in ocean conservation. As a scuba diver, she is applying scientific research methods to her work underwater, most recently by ultra-sounding pregnant whale sharks and manta rays in an effort to learn more about their reproduction. Her work is being used to create three protected areas in Mexico. Deni's research has taken her around the world and her research has been part of several international films including the National Geographic Discovery Chanel. Deni was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2020.

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