Philippines Travel Gentle Giants Of Donsol Sorsogon

Donsol used to​ be a​ sleepy coastal town in​ Sorsogon—a province in​ the​ southernmost tip of​ Luzon. Nobody knows Donsol except for,​ of​ course,​ its local inhabitants until a​ few years ago when tourists from all over the​ world began to​ flock this remote place to​ get a​ look-see at​ the​ largest fish on​ earth: the​ whale shark.

Before,​ fishermen in​ Donsol were ignorant of​ the​ ecological (and tourist) value of​ whale sharks. They used to​ hunt,​ slaughter and sell the​ poor gentle sea creatures to​ Japanese traders. Local folks call them “butanding” or​ “big fish” in​ the​ vernacular. Early sightings of​ the​ butandings were reported in​ the​ Visayan seas in​ Bohol further south. it​ was said that massive slaughtering caused their migration to​ Donsol waters.

Although,​ according to​ stories,​ the​ first butanding that was netted out in​ the​ area was also butchered. a​ marine biologist witnessed it​ and instantly recognized the​ fish as​ a​ rare marine specie. the​ biologist immediately reported the​ incident to​ the​ World Wildlife Fund (WWF),​ an​ international organization promoting the​ preservation of​ the​ wildlife.

WWF wasted no time and launched an​ education campaign about the​ giant creature. After coordinating with the​ Department of​ Tourism,​ whale-watching soon became a​ tourist activity that allowed extra income for the​ people of​ Donsol.

Whale sharks can grow up to​ 50 feet in​ length. it​ has a​ rather wide mouth with hundreds of​ pointed teeth. it​ usually comes in​ grey or​ greenish brown color with white or​ yellow spots all over its body.

It earned the​ label gentle giant of​ the​ sea because of​ its harmless nature,​ considering it​ is​ of​ the​ shark family. it​ has nothing in​ common with whales except for its size,​ thus the​ name. Divers can swim and interact with them and are only known to​ sink deeper into the​ ocean when it​ gets upset. There has been no known attack on​ humans of​ whale sharks.

Scientists are still baffled with the​ large migration of​ whale sharks in​ Donsol. These fishes are known to​ prefer the​ cold waters,​ not the​ tropical seas that we have. One explanation would be the​ flourishing of​ planktons in​ the​ area. Planktons are organisms that fill the​ diet of​ the​ whale sharks. it​ is​ also hard to​ record the​ number of​ whale sharks that now thrive in​ Donsol. But early studies show that whale sharks can travel 14,​000 miles in​ 40 months and is​ capable of​ breeding in​ different sea environments.

Whale sharks swim on​ the​ surface of​ the​ water especially during the​ morning and early afternoon. it​ opens its mouth rhythmically when feeding on​ the​ planktons and visitors may be treated to​ this wondrous sight if​ they spot the​ fish at​ the​ perfect time. But don’t expect them to​ jump up and down the​ water like the​ whales or​ dolphins. That’s actually another beauty of​ the​ whale shark experience because this makes it​ perfectly east and safe to​ get near them.
Philippines Travel Gentle Giants Of Donsol Sorsogon Philippines Travel Gentle Giants Of Donsol Sorsogon Reviewed by Henda Yesti on August 10, 2018 Rating: 5

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