From November to May each year, whale sharks gather for feeding in the sheltered, deep waters of Sogod Bay in Southern Leyte, Philippines. A well managed eco-tourism industry has been established by several dive operators together with the local community. Regulations including a ban on SCUBA diving and flash photography, a minimum distance from the sharks, and time limits have been enforced. Locals have been employed as spotters and guides, and a sanctuary fee charged from tourists supports the local village. A successful model that benefits the local community and the tourists, while minimizing the impact on the sharks ensuring that they return to Sogod Bay in the future.
3 months ago