In Oslob in the municipality of Tanawan, whale sharks have been fed for many years.
This, of course, sparks lively discussions on the pros and contras.
As a diving school located in the area, it is very difficult to side with either party for, like other diving schools, we also offer this experience to our guests upon request.
However, we also partly agree with those opposed to the feeding of whale sharks. Of course, feeding is wrong, just like feeding lions in Africa, squirrels in the Black Forest, sharks in the Bahamas or alligators in the United States. However, one doesn’t often hear or read about these feedings.
We have often witnessed the feeding of whale sharks - from the land, from inside the water, from the bot and while snorkelling or scuba diving. There, the whale sharks only get a little snack which can by no means cover their daily needs. They move freely and can swim wherever they want at any time. Thus, they are not being restricted in their movements. Daily feeding starts at 6 am in the morning and always ends at noon.
Residents and fishermen also increasingly make sure that no-one approaches the whale sharks or touches them. As a snorkeller, this is sometimes not that easily done. For us scuba divers, it is. We dive down, sit down and wait until one whale shark after the other swims past, in similar fashion to the thresher sharks of Monad Soal.
One also needs to remember in this context that the fishermen today live from feeding the sharks instead of from catching them.