For a couple of months now there's been quite a few whale sharks in Tan-awan, Philippines. It's normal for whale sharks to pass by here but not natural for them to stick around as they're migratory. The first whale shark to stick around came around mid 2011 and was feeding on the 'uyap' (small shrimps) the fishermen use as bait for fishing. Just for fun the fishermen gave some food to this begging whale shark. One whale shark quickly became 3 and even more since then, sometimes there's more then 10 whale sharks visiting in a day.
The tourist started coming after someone asked the the fishermen to take them out to see the whale sharks, then news travelled quickly and now it can be extremely crowded in the water.
Lots of biologist don't like the feeding of this wild animal as it might alter there behavior. They also associate boats with food which can harm them as they might get hurt by a propeller or even worse, fall victim to fishermen who still hunt them.
On the other hand this kind of tourism is giving the fishermen an alternative income and makes them want to protect the whale sharks. By making an income like this they don't have to go out and fish in this already overfished area.
I will post a more educative video about this issue soon.
All footage filmed while free diving, shot with a Canon 7D and natural light.
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