Quantcast
Latest Stories

Summer heat driving whale sharks deeper into sea waters

By

MANILA, Philippines–Even the sizzling temperatures could be scaring away the Butanding in Donsol Bay, Sorsogon.

Whale Shark. AP FILE Photo

While more tourists are hitting Donsol’s beaches this summer, there are fewer sightings of the main draw: the gentle whale sharks, the World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines (WWF) said Saturday.

Donsol’s surface water temperature averages 28.3 degrees Celsius, 2 degrees hotter than the average of 26.1 degrees Celsius recorded in the 2010 summer, WWF said.

“Our initial findings seem to indicate that the whale sharks are staying in deep water, possibly to avoid the heat,’’ WWF whale shark expert Dave David said in a statement. “They are also highly migratory creatures, so it is not easy to regularly predict their whereabouts.’’

In the summer of 2001, there were also very “few sightings’’ of the whale sharks. On top of the warm sea surface temperatures, the human factor might have something to do with it, too, the international conservation group said.

“Donsol now has far more visitors than it can handle. Coupled with the fact that sightings are decreasing, more and more interaction violations are being reported,” WWF Donsol project manager Raul Burce said.

Quoting tourist Anton Lim, WWF said some swimmers touched the sharks, and bancas raced to where a shark was spotted.

Under the rules, only a single boat of six swimmers is allowed per shark; swimmers should be 3 meters away from its body, and 4 meters away from its tail; they can only interact for 10 minutes, and they can neither touch nor resort to flash photography. Boats are allowed to tour for three hours.

WWF called on tourists, boatmen and guides to stick to the rules.

“The policies were designed not just to protect the whale sharks, but tourists as well. A 30-foot shark can accidentally swat a swimmer straying too close to its tail,’’ Burce said. “By respecting the rules, we’re minimizing our impacts on the ecosystem, especially the sharks.’’

With fewer sightings, Donsol operators are also offering firefly and mangrove tours.

The WWF is attempting to track shark movements through state-of-the-art tracking monitors, instead of relying solely on the trained eyes of spotters.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


More Philippine Weather News

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Regions , Temperature , Weather , Whale shark


  • ordinariopoako

    how i wish that our politicians will do the same ( deeper without oxygen tank ) with white sharks for extinction and that goes for their families para wala ng second and third generations of corrupt politicians

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EAUFRN6E4JJ67TDR25KRGR3DFE Zen

    the photo seems wrong. is that a whale shark? and i’m sure it’s not in donsol. 

  • akramgolteb

    Dahil pinagpaptay ng mga mangingisda ang mga whale shark. Kunwari lang sila sumusunod sa patakaran na hindi puede huluhin o patayin ang mga whale shark pero pera pa rin ang mahalaga sa kanila. Pagnakakita sila ng pagkakataon dadalihin nila ang mga ito.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • Name names, Lacson dared
  • 4.6-magnitude quake hits Surigao del Norte
  • Camilla’s brother dies of NYC head injury
  • Nepal officials go to Everest to try to end crisis
  • Escudero ready to defend self should name appear in Napoles’ list
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement