Photo by @jenniferhayesig
A whale shark approaches a small boat called a banca for a handful of krill in Oslob Philippines. Six days a week thousands of tourist show up here to see and swim with dozens of hand fed whale sharks. These giants arrive seeking a handout of krill as they swim below, past and around the visitors seeking an encounter with worlds largest fish, a plankton feeding shark. The feeding stops around noon and the whale sharks disappear to the depths. There is conservation debate and controversy about the effects of hand feeding these large migratory sharks. Many scientist condemn the feeding because of concerns that this activity congregates the sharks making them vulnerable and interrupts their natural foraging and migration patterns. Others that support the practice suggest that the sharks act as ocean. ambassadors teaching visitors about the sea, that the economy generated around these sharks makes them extremely valuable and protects them from harm and that the sharks are free to come and go at will.
Photographed on @natgeo assignment for Philippines: Inside the Coral Triangle with @DavidDoubilet
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