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.

In their position paper, they said the activity has greatly affected the whale shark tourism project in Donsol, Sorsogon.

“Donsol was known for ‘butanding,’ that’s why a lot of tourists go to Donsol to see the whale sharks. When Oslob became popular for whaleshark watching all year round instead of seasonal in September or October, more people from Manila would come to Cebu,” said Go.

RDC 5 wanted a return to the status quo where whalesharks would feed naturally in the open seas.

The DOT Central Visayas Regional Director Rowena Montecillo called the attention of the RDC to act on the matter.

Go said they went to Oslob to observe the activities.

“We found nothing wrong with what we have here in Oslob. We found that it was still very friendly to the lives of the whaleshark so in our committee, we recommend that we should not stop,” said Go.

But Go said residents and Oslob officials should adhere to policies on proper handling and feeding of the whale sharks.

“We will continue until we can see any adverse impact on the natural habitat of the butanding,” he added.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, RDC 7 chairman, agreed with Go’s recommendations because stopping the whale shark activities in Oslob will definitely affect the livelihood of its residents.

“We cannot just immediately stop something that has a great economical contribution,” said Rama.

Source:  Cebu Daily News