Sunday, April 1, 2012

What's wrong with these? Butanding Interactions Such as These , NOT Right!

Tsk. Tsk. These photos of people interacting this super close with a whale shark (supposedly in Oslob, Cebu) or "butanding" have circulated fast in facebook and twitter. I know it could be a sure lure for people but the more experienced traveler knows that whale sharks should not be touched or even stepped on like this. Horrors, right?!?

It turns out that it was a stranded whale shark in Boljoon town, a municipality next to Oslob in Cebu.

My own whale shark encounter in 2011 in Donsol, Sorsogon taught me the basic rules prior to seeing one.

"Swimmers should be 3 meters from the head and body of the butanding; 4 meters from the tail. No touching riding or restricting the movement of the butanding. A maximum of 30 boats at sea at any point in time. One one boat per whale shark, with a maximum of 6 swimmers per whale shark. Maximum of 10-minute swim with one whale shark. Flash photography is not allowed."

Poor stranded whale shark.

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