Saturday, March 13, 2010

Whalesharks and Waterfalls

We recently spent several days in Donsol, Philippines. We were lucky enough to swim with several whale sharks and visit a waterfall that falls into the ocean. We had a great time. The only negative about the experience was the lack of compliance to the rules that are meant to protect the whale sharks. The Interaction Center says that when you go out on a boat with a guide that the guides will follow a rule of one boat for one shark. Several times there were several boats who all had their swimmers in the water with a shark together. At times there were more than thirty people in the water at once. Over the course of four days, I saw several people intentionally touch whale sharks. Having thirty people swimming with one shark made it impossible for the guides to completely enforce the rule against touching. Even when a guide saw a guest touch, there is no enforced punishment. It is an amazing experience, but rule enforcement is a work in progress.

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