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Whale Shark 101: Fact-Filled Crash Course On Whale Sharks

The whale shark is one of the world’s gentlest giants. Slow swimming filter-feeders, Rhincodon typus currently holds the record for the largest fish species in the entire world. Whale sharks can reach incredible lengths of up to 40 feet, and can weigh up 20 metric tons. While intimidating in size, a whale shark’s diet consists primarily of plankton. Unlike most of their feared cousins, whale sharks use a method called filter-feeding to catch their prey. They swim with their mouths wide open (almost five feet!) in order to catch large amounts of their tiny prey. The whale shark is only one of three species of shark that filter-feed. The whale shark sports a flattened head with a blunt snout and massive mouth. They are easily identified by their incredulous size, and by their coloration. The back and sides of a whale shark are grey or brown, with a white belly. However, they are known for the white spots and pale vertical and horizontal stripes along their back. These marine behemoths live in tropical and warm temperate seas. They generally swim the open oceans alone, though they tend to gather in areas that are abundant with plankton or other prey. This makes them a prime tourist attraction, as they are often gentle enough to swim beside quite safely. Areas such as Oslob, Cebu are extremely popular for the high density of whale sharks that swim by their shores. This, however, has recently proven detrimental to the species. The amount of attention and contact that the whale shark has been receiving has ruined migratory patterns and greatly increased the density of whale sharks in a very localized area. Given a stable feeding source by those would seek [...]

April 8th, 2015|1 Comment

How to Get to Oslob for Whale Shark Watching

You have probably heard about it, but in case you haven’t – you can watch, snorkel, or dive with whale sharks in Oslob, Cebu! Ten (10) kilometres away from the center town of Oslob in Cebu, is the small barangay of Tan-awan. There, whale shark watching is a hit among many tourists. Both local and international travellers visit the town to get a closer look at these gentle giants. If like them, you also want to see the whale sharks for yourself while enjoying a great swim in the clear waters; then you better pay them a visit. But first, a quick rundown on how it all began. […]

February 6th, 2014|12 Comments

Whale Shark Watching Tours Operates as Normal

As what you've seen or heard in media you could see how the Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) devastated some parts of the Philippines especially in the Visayas region where Cebu located. Oslob is in the southern part of Cebu and we were not heavily affected unlike northern Cebu that was devastated by super typhoon Yolanda last Friday, November 8. So you have nothing to worry about in traveling to Oslob for whale shark watching tours. Roads are passable and whale shark sightings is 100% guaranteed despite of the calamities. Keep coming to the beautiful island of Philippines to spend your holidays.

November 13th, 2013|2 Comments

Secrets of Whale Shark Migration Revealed

The world's biggest fish are hungry migrators on a mission, according to a tracking study that mapped whale sharks' long journeys around the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean to a favorite feeding hot spot off the Yucatan Peninsula. And one whale shark's incredible 5,000-mile (7,200-kilometer) swim could even help solve the long-standing mystery of where whale sharks give birth—an event no scientist has ever seen. The largest-ever study of whale shark migrations, nine years in the making, shows that the hundreds of school bus-sized animals that feed in a plankton-saturated stretch off the Mexican coast come from far and wide. The gentle giants—which can reach up to 40 feet (12 meters) or longer in length, and weigh an average of 5 tons—use mouth filters to feed on the tiny plankton and small fish or eggs. Read more in National Geographic

August 22nd, 2013|0 Comments

Nothing wrong with feeding whalesharks in Oslob – RDC

THE whale shark feeding in Oslob will continue. Members of the Central Visayas Regional Development Council (RDC) agreed on this yesterday during their second 2013 quarterly meeting. Robert Go, chairman of the Economic Development Committee (EDC), presented their recommendation not to stop the whale shark feeding because they do not see any ecological threat caused by the activity. Go’s recommendation was immediately approved. The RDC’s position on the issue was sought after the RDC of Region 5 (Bicol) wrote to the Secretary of Tourism, requesting support for its position to stop the whale shark feeding activities in Oslob. […]

June 25th, 2013|1 Comment

Oslob urged to stop feeding whale sharks

Cebu’s tourism stakeholders called on the Oslob municipal government to enforce the prohibition against feeding of the whale sharks. They also urged Oslob officials to study the Donsol whale shark project for better ways on how to deal with the creatures. In a phone interview, former tourism undersecretary Phineas Alburo said he supports Albay Gov. Joey Salceda’s call that the Oslob municipal government should study the success story that is the Donsol whale shark project. “Learn about their story. How they started it, the challenges they faced in the past and how they overcome each one of them and how they were able to sustain the project until today,” Alburo said. […]

June 18th, 2013|0 Comments

Sharks worth more for tourism than in soup: study

Sharks swimming free in the oceans may soon become more valuable as tourist attractions than when caught, sliced up and served in soup, a global study showed on Friday. It urged better protection for the fish, from Australia to the Caribbean, to reduce catches of an estimated 38 million a year to meet demand for shark fin soup, mainly in China. “We are hoping that people will recognize that sharks are not only valuable on the plate,” lead author Andres Cisneros-Montemayor of the University of British Columbia in Canada said. […]

June 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Locals, biologists face off over Philippine whale shark feeding

By David Loh Tan-awan, Philippines (Reuters) – Tan-awan, in the southern Philippines island of Cebu, used to be a sleepy village that never saw tourists unless they were lost or in transit. Yet now they flock there by the hundreds – to swim with whale sharks, the world’s largest fish. Whale sharks are lured to the Tan-awan coastline of the Oslob district by fishermen who hand feed them small shrimp, drawing divers and snorkelers to see the highly sought-after animals, known as gentle giants of the sea. But the practice has sparked fierce debate on the internet and among biologists, who decry it as unnatural. “Some people are asking that we stop feeding, but if we stop feeding, what is our livelihood?” said Ramonito Lagahid, vice chairman of the Tan-awan Oslob Sea Warden and Fishermen Association (TOSWFA). “We have to go back to fishing.” […]

March 12th, 2013|0 Comments

Stunning Whale Shark Photos Aim to Help At-Risk Species

At first glance, Kristain Schmidt and Shawn Heinrichs’ photos of models swimming with whale sharks off the coast of the Philippines appear heavily Photoshopped. But while the levels and colors have been manipulated and the backgrounds tweaked, the most striking part – the models’ proximity to sharks – is real. While a bit whimsical, the photos have recently gone viral and lead to a new awareness of the whale shark, which was Schmidt and Heinrichs’ plan all along. Read more in Wired

January 25th, 2013|0 Comments

Fashion models take part in stunning underwater freediving photo shoot with whale sharks

Fearless underwater models brought the worlds of fashion and the ocean together in the shoot of a lifetime by freediving with 30-foot-long whale sharks. Instead of flaunting their curves on the catwalk like other international models, Hannah Fraser, 36, and Roberta Mancino, 32, gamely dived up to 25-feet-deep into the ocean, complete with designer attire, for a one-of-a-kind photo-session posing in the wild with the 18-tonne world's largest fish. The sight of top-models perfectly mimicking the graceful poses of whale sharks as they swam through the tropical waters of the Philippines was the brainchild of US photographers Shawn Heinrichs, 41, and Kristian Schmidt, 35, who spent four-months planning the five-day photoshoot. Read more in DailyMail.co.uk

January 15th, 2013|0 Comments