Monday, 6 July 2015

The Whale Sharks of Oslob, Cebu, Philippines...

The giant, but gentle whale shark
Whale sharks became a protected species in 2003, and in the Philippines, they are bringing much needed income to the community of Oslob, Cebu.

It was only in 2012 that whale sharks first came to the attention of curious tourists. Since then an entire industry has grown up, with nearly 300 staff work at the feeding site, under local government management, which is aimed to safeguard these wonderful creatures who are giants of the sea, and yet quite gentle.

According to the Department of Tourism for this part of the Visayas, over 110,000 tourists were attracted to Oslob last year, purely to see, or swim with the whale sharks. Touching the creatures is forbidden, with the possibility of harsh penalties for those that transgress the rules, and swimmers have to cleanse themselves of sun cream, to keep the waters clean.

Although there are some who are concerned about the whole industry of interaction between whale sharks and humans, there are clear benefits for the community, who accept that controls and regulation is important, and are responsible in their management of the tourist programme.

Read more about the whale sharks of Oslob, Cebu, HERE >>  

At Philippine Trails, we offer whale shark interaction tours at Oslob, and also at Donsol, Bicol - also in the Philippines.