Donsol, WWF renews commitment to protect whale sharks
DONSOL, Sorsogon — The local government here and the World Wide Fund (WWF) have penned on Friday the renewal of commitment in protecting the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), locally known as “butanding.”
Donsol mayor Josephine Alcantara-Cruz said giving emphasis to the protection of the whale sharks that visit the town’s waters around April to May is the local government’s main concern.
Whale sharks are Donsol’s top tourist draw.
“We need to protect and take care of these whale sharks because [they] bring many good things to the town particularly when it comes to tourism,” she said.
She said the gentle marine giants’ presence has contributed a lot when it comes to the town’s economy and livelihood by creating opportunities for the locals.
Jose Angelito Palma, president of WWF, commended the LGU for a sustainable project.
In Donsol, tourists are not allowed to feed the sharks, a practice that experts and conservation advocates say would not make them dependent on humans.
This would keep the sharks away from potential hunters and accidental boat propeller injuries.
Only 25 boats with six tourists each are allowed in the water at a time so as not to disturb the whale sharks. (Editor: Leti Z. Boniol)
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