Don’t feed, ride whale sharks — BFAR
Mitchelle Palaubsanon (The Philippine Star) - September 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Residents have been advised against feeding whale sharks sighted in the waters off Alegria town in southern Cebu.

“There should be no feeding... and no close interaction with humans. As much as possible, wild species should remain in the wild. There might be consequences because there will be changes in the normal cycle of their system,” Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Central Visayas veterinarian Jennefe Cabarubias said.

 Cabarubias was reacting to reports that whale sharks have been spotted in the municipal waters for several days now. More whale sharks reportedly appeared because  residents were feeding the animals.

Netizens also expressed concern over videos posted on social media showing some residents riding whale sharks.

Cabarubias said whale sharks should not be domesticated even though whale shark-watching is a potential income-generating tourism activity.

Whale shark tourism is a booming business in Oslob, also in Cebu.

Cabarubias urged local government officials to ensure the protection of whale sharks.

Cebu provincial fishery officer Edgardo Delfin said feeding whale sharks could make the animals dependent on humans.

Delfin said he advised the municipal government to ensure that people keep a distance of five to six meters away from the animals to avoid stressing them out.  – The Freeman

BUREAU OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES WHALE SHARKS
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