Saturday, November 1, 2014

Spotted! 5 whale sharks in Donsol

File Photo


Donsol, Sorsogon- The gentle giants are back!

Locals are ecstatic to be finally catching a glimpse of the whale sharks off the coast of Sorsogon.

This morning, five butandings were sighted by locals and tourists off the coast of this town.

According Rodel Lita, a diving instructor at the Bicol Dive Center, fishermen have been reporting shadows of the whalesharks in the past days. However, it was only today when they were seen by locals and tourists on the surface.

The whale shark's appearance have sparked hope among locals who have been alarmed over the decline in whale shark sightings last season.

Donsol town in Sorsogon has been tagged by tourism authorities as the Butanding Capital of the country.

Butanding season is observed in February until March where thousands of local and foreign visitors spend their holidays in Donsol town, some 47 kilometers from this city.

However, last year, the sightings of butanding at the coastal waters of Donsol dwindled because of the rising sea temperature due to climate change, stress and lack of food.

Alan Amanse, Donsol BIO board chairperson, confirmed in an earlier interview that the rising sea temperature, stress and insufficient plankton are the factors that cause the whale sharks to transfer to cooler areas and swim to the deep sea or look for areas with abundant food.

He said because of this condition, the sightings of butanding in Donsol has considerably dropped from eight sightings the previous year to only two during the first half of last year, endangering the tourism industry of the town.

Amanse claimed that sea temperature rise has significantly increased from the ideal temperature range 26 to 27 degrees to 29 to 30 degrees last year.


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