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Whaleshark feeding / Oslob

Say NO to OSLOB’s whale shark feeding!


Fermin cutsFermin-P383”, Oslob’s flagship whale shark left Oslob for 3 days on July 20th. Fermin came back with 11 propeller cuts in his face, one in the eye. Fermin turned blind on the left eye. How many non documented friends did Fermin loose already since Oct 2011?

Fermin: “In Oslob I learned boats and bubbles means food!
Don't you know we whale sharks are a migrating species?
Did they teach me how to kill myself when I move on... or can you tell me how I distinguish boats & bubbles that bring food from boats and bubbles that slice my face?
Since Oct 2011 more than 80 of my friends learned in just 3 days “boats & bubbles = food, go and slice your face!”

At the end, the Oslob “Rules and Regulations, behavior codex” for divers and non divers don’t help! In one way it reduces the impact on the sharks but it turns cynical as it helps dive,- and tour operators “after the easy money” by endangering a already endangered species!

If you want to know more about the Oslob shark "interaction", here is the full story, a report of Physalus (NGO studying intensively the effect of the whale shark watching industry in Oslob), a few first pages on local newspaper and an article on the German magazine Aquanaut.





Feeding whale sharks is detrimental!


5 good reasons to NOT feed whale sharks:

1.The whale sharks are not getting their full range of nutritional requirements, which may affect their growth and reproduction.

2. Whale sharks naturally do not spend a lot of time at the surface or in shallow waters. It interrupts their migration and with that their reproductive cycle.

3. Whale sharks are a migratory species. They’re not supposed to stay in one site for prolonged periods of time.

4. Conditioning whale sharks to approach boats makes them more susceptible to fishing and poaching.

5.The whale shark’s association with boats&bubbles in Oslob has negative impacts when they move on even within their daily perimeter to where there are no guidelines or trained personnel to conduct and monitor human interaction. Fermin’s injuries show us he mistook the bubbles of the boat for food, or as an indication that the people on the boat would feed him. Conditioning whale sharks to approach boats will provoke propeller injuries.

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The whale shark's welfare


Local and international protection laws.


Anything that could harm them needs to be banned. Whale sharks are vulnerable species as assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is listed in both Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) and the Convention of Migratory Species (CMS). The Philippines is a signatory to these conventions, which means that our country has to take measures to conserve these animals, protect their migration, and prohibit their trade. The Philippine Fisheries Code states that the Department of Agriculture shall take conservation and rehabilitation measures for rare, threatened and endangered species for which by CITES definition, includes whale sharks (Republic Act 8550,Section 11). Moreover, the Wildlife Act states that it shall be unlawful for any person to willfully and knowingly exploit wildlife resources and their habitats (Republic Act 9147, Section 27). Feeding of whale sharks for economic purposes is clearly exploitation of nature and not promotion of ecological balance.

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