Whale Sharks, big as a bus and just as tough. There is nothing like swimming with the biggest fish in the world, even crazier that it’s a Shark! In Cebu Island the sharks congregate in large groups and you can snorkel amongst them. There were between seven and eight sharks swimming around us. Yvonne was taking a picture of me swimming with them when a shark came out of nowhere and knocked her out-of-the-way. It left a nice softball sized bruise on her leg.
The sharks are incredibly powerful, measuring up to forty feet long and possibly more. They don’t have sharp teeth like most sharks but baleen, which is a fibrous filter in their mouth. The water runs through the fibers catching small plankton and other food. Sharks live in tropical waters ranging from the Philippines to the Galapagos.
The reason so many show up here is because the fishermen feed them. It’s unethical possibly, but the experience is beyond words. The sharks are in the open ocean though, and nothing is holding them back from continuing on their way. In addition, it’s better that tourism brings tourist money to help creat jobs as well as protecting the sharks. If people were not here then the sharks probably would be on the dinner plate. Feeding a few sharks, allowing people to learn, educate, experience, and possibly fall in love with them is essential to saving the species. I do feel they should limit the number of tourists and double the size of the feeding area making it more of a one on one adventure, and I would enforce the no touching rules more. They can also be found in warm tropical water near Donsol, Philippines. From what I hear there is no feeding there. Scientists are not aware why they congregate in such numbers in this area. For a more detailed look on the controversy check out this article.Whale Shark Controversy
Which ever way you feel more comfortable, swimming with these gentle giants is an amazing experience that everyone should try.