Do's and Donts with Whale sharks

Very seldom do we find places where we can have close encounter with these gentle giants. Here in Oslob, you will get as close as 5 meters away or even closer if they swim at you. Unlike in Donsol, Sorsogon where the whaleshark watching happens in the middle of the ocean, and tourist boats racing with the whale sharks or "butandings", here in Oslob, they are lured closer to the shore for a promise of food, and thus, we enjoy swimming and taking pictures with them.

Like us humans who live naturally in the land, the ocean is the whale shark's natural habitat. Needless to say that these creatures are slowly becoming extinct, we need to take care of them and be wary of our actions so the next generations can still witness these gentle giants and not just on the pictures that we took with them. That is why there are some rules and regulations that should be followed while swimming with the whale sharks.

Do's

  • Wear lifejacket while on the boat - This is for your own safety incase accidents may happen. You can take off the lifejacket when you reach the area if you believe you can swim without them. Some lifeguards are on duty.
  • Be a responsible swimmer - Always consider both your safety and the whaleshark's.

Dont's
  • Putting on sunscreen is prohibited - Sunscreen contains chemicals that may contaminate the water, and thus endanger the health of the whalesharks. Imagine the volume of the said chemicals we put into the water everyday if each tourist puts on sunblock while swimming with the whalesharks.
  • No flash photograpy - Whalesharks are sensitive to light. Imagine how many photos shoot on them everyday.
  • Absolutely no touching the whaleshark - It is not natural for them to be touched by humans. Accidental touch may not be too harmful for them but hundreds or even thousands of hands intentionally touching its skin in a day will undoubtedly cause stress and potential disease.
  • 5 meters minimum distance - anyone is not allowed to intentionally go nearer than 5 meters near these creatures again to lessen stress on the fish and prevent injury for both the fish and humans alike.
  • Only 6 people per whaleshark - Again to lessen stress to the animal.