Whale shark ecotourism – epilogue

Relevant to my recent post about whale shark ecotourism, this news article came across my news feed today.  It seems the Director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the Philippines region called Visayas, which includes Cebu province, has ordered the cessation of the practice of feeding whale sharks in Oslob, which was one of the examples of unsustainable practices that I cited.  The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources is also amending its regulation to prohibit feeding of whale sharks throughout the Philippines, which would effectively prevent any other such ecotourism practices occurring anywhere in the country.   These are two steps in the right direction and the Philippine government should be applauded for making them.  I look forward to seeing them implemented.

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Dr. Alistair Dove is a systematic and ecological parasitologist by training, with broader research interests in the natural history and health of marine animals, especially whale sharks. He is currently Director of Research and Conservation at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta USA. His comments here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Georgia Aquarium





One comment on “Whale shark ecotourism – epilogue
  1. Hi Dr. Dove,

    I work for the NGO Physalus whose Large Marine Vertebrates Project (LAMAVE) is conducting research on the effects of feeding and tourist interaction in Oslob, Cebu. Thank you for highlighting the issues surrounding this industry. I thought you might be interested in the response the local government and community has had to the order to stop the feeding: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/local-news/2012/08/30/oslob-assures-proper-whale-care-240034

    A note for anyone that reads the article – we have presented our results and recommendations on several occasions to the local government, the fishermen’s association running the interaction and other authorities: http://largemarinevertebratesproject.blogspot.com/2012/08/in-response-to-todays-sun-star-cebu.html

    Thanks again,
    Sam Craven

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