Diving with Whalesharks
For an assignemnt with Siren Fleet (Worldwide Dive and Sail) I was fortunate to be able to freedive with whalesharks in the Philippines. However there is a huge controvery for this specific spot, where one can go and see the magnificent species.
The whaleshark (Rhincodon typus) is known to be the largest extant fish species. He belongs to the carpet shark taxa and is a filter feeding, slow moving shark and is found in tropical waters around the globe.
The whalesharks I was about to photograph are fed by the local fisherman in Moalboal, Philippines. As a biologist I have the tendency and ethics that interfering with nature in any kind is not ethical, unless, it will serve a greater purpose. Its widely discussed if the “tradition” to feed the whalesharks by the fishermen should be banned or not. The tourists seem to like it to have a whaleshark guarantee. Liveaboards are also using the spot for their itinerary and the locals have a business and income to support their families. The question remains what benefit do whalesharks get, beside getting a guaranteed meal every day? It does not take a genius to answer this question, the sharks don´t end up on the fishing markets where their fins get sold. The fishermen realized ttheir chance and possibility to make more money of the animals when they are alive instead of a quick dollar when they are crucially killed for their fins, not their meat. The overall ethics are still largely discussed.