Public urged to follow proper whale shark interaction

By Nikka Garriga

BOLJOON, CEBU—The Department of Tourism (DoT) urged the public to be mindful of the laws and guidelines set by local government units (LGUs) on proper interaction with butandings or whale sharks.

Tourism Sec. Ramon Jimenez Jr. emphasized that tourism should go together with the protection and conservation of marine animals.

The agency is also looking at conducting awareness training on marine conservation for LGUs and communities in parts of the Philippines where whale sharks are frequently observed.

“We need to heighten people's awareness and capacitate the community to effectively manage the interaction, so that it will not cause undue harm or disturbance to the normal behavior of the sharks,” Jimenez stressed.

The need to strictly enforce such guidelines came after a photo of a girl riding a whale shark along the shoreline of Barangay Granada in Boljoon, Cebu went viral online.

According to local executives, the butanding was allegedly trapped in the net of fishermen. They opted to bring it near the shore after having difficulties freeing the butandingwhile in deeper water.

The whale shark was later released into the open sea.

A technical working group was established to formulate guidelines and monitor systems to ensure that this tourism attraction benefits communities.

The regional office of DoT teamed up with Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for an awareness caravan on marine conservation,including proper butanding interaction.

“BFAR Regional Director Andres Bojos agreed to partner with us in conducting an Awareness Caravan in May during the Month of the Ocean aimed at raising awareness on marine protection and conservation, and promoting a culture of tourism,” said DoT Region 7 director Rowena Montecillo said.

Measures are now being undertaken to conduct further research on the migratory pattern of the whale sharks.

(Photo by wildlife photographer Jurgen Freund for WWF Philippines)

***

loQal.ph (http://loqal.ph/) is a website owned and operated by Filquest Media Concepts, Inc. It works under the principle of giving voice to the voiceless, empowering Filipinos and uplifting the image of the Philippines by highlighting its unique culture. To do this, the loQal.ph team produces stories, video, photos and other multimedia content types to inspire and celebrate Filipino achievements, ideas, products and places.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Docu exposes destruction of PH marine resources VERA Files - The Inbox
    Docu exposes destruction of PH marine resources

    By Kiersnerr Gerwin B. Tacadena, VERA Files “Gutom (hunger),” Sen. Loren Legarda said is what’s in store for the Filipino people if destruction of our marine resources is not stopped. Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on Environmetn and Natural … Continue reading → …

  • ‘Yolanda’ fiberglass boats modern-day Noah’s ark VERA Files - The Inbox
    ‘Yolanda’ fiberglass boats modern-day Noah’s ark

    By Jane Dasal, VERA Files If you want to save the earth, build a boat. That's what a group of environmentalists is saying, especially if you want to save both the forests and fishermen affected by supertyphoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan). “Haiyan … Continue reading → …

  • Environmental groups oppose proposed coal-fired power plants VERA Files - The Inbox
    Environmental groups oppose proposed coal-fired power plants

    By Patricia Isabel Gloria, VERA Files GROUPS opposed to the building of 25 coal-fired power plants within the next six years gathered outside the gates of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Tuesday, International Earth Day, as … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options