Diving with whale sharks
Replies: 18 - Last Post: Feb 18, 2013 11:32 PM Last Post By: Mercure
Aug 9, 2012 12:40 AM
Aug 9, 2012 2:35 AM
Aug 9, 2012 2:47 AM
2I don't recommend the PI for whale shark interaction. There has simply been too much abuse of the animals to the point of more than one propeller strike, tourists riding, standing on, and sitting on the sharks, changes in behaviour, etc. To see whale sharks without the mess of the PI, try Ningaloo in Western Australia. They find the sharks and send GPS coordinates for the dive boats to approach where they are feeding. Isla Mujeres in Mexico is another top option as the sharks go there to feed on tunny larvae that occurs naturally (as opposed to chumming the water with food as is done in the PI).
Aug 9, 2012 3:01 AM
Aug 9, 2012 3:07 AM
4I understand what you're saying, surfboy, and your claim has some merit, but the PI really needs to sit up and take notice of what's happening not only in Oslob but also in Donsol (where it's not as bad, but still chumming the water to draw the sharks in and letting snorkelers harass the animals with boats far too close hemming them in so that the tourists can get their thrill). Sogod is not far behind if history is any indication. I won't recommend the PI for whale shark interactions until the authorities step in and really correct the problems that already exist. So far it's just a lot of empty talk.
Not only that, but I just arrived home today from the PI, and all of the reputable dive operators I worked with while there also discourage their divers from doing the whale shark interactions in the PI, and for the reasons I have outlined: abuse, changes in behaviour, and feeding.
Aug 9, 2012 3:12 AM
Aug 9, 2012 3:16 AM
Aug 9, 2012 8:30 AM
Aug 9, 2012 4:00 PM
Aug 9, 2012 5:12 PM
9Whalesharks aggegate in large numbers in the Seychelles around September/October every year. The Marine Conservation Society (MCSS) there has a microlight they send up to do counts and spotting and the boat follows the microlight and they communicate with a radio. I ended up booking a dive tour with an English company, Aqua Firma who partner with the MCSS.
They subscribe very closely to the encounter rules established by researchers in Ningaloo so there is no diving, although you can freedive. It was an amazing trip, but the group after us didn't see any sharks at all as the rain had pushed the plankton down in the water column so the sharks weren't on the surface feeding. You may be willing to travel great distances but you'll have to be prepared that there are never any guarantees.
I also saw whalesharks off Tofo in Mozambique. It's a beautiful place but really struggling with unchecked hunting of marine megafauna. Lots of shark finning and spearfishing of mantas for gill rakers. Very sad.
Aug 10, 2012 9:21 PM
Aug 13, 2012 11:14 AM
Went there in 2004
Saw 21 in a morning - snorkeled 1-on-1 with 16 of the 21 seen - largest was 9m female
Had a great time - went on a Monday when there were less people - I was actually the only tourist on the banka
Haven't seen them anywhere else - but remember the experience fondly
Aug 17, 2012 4:41 PM
12Another vote for Donsol, PI. Admittedly this was 6 years ago, and I appreciate the concerns voiced by Quero about conservation in PI but it seemed fairly well regulated.
Would also recommend Sogod Bay, Leyte. I went there outside of the main whale shark season, so wasn't expecting to see any and didn't see any. Friends who have been there during the main season had excellent encounters. Sogod Bay is quite remote so there are a lot fewer people in the water.
Have also seen whale sharks in the Musadam (Oman) and at Richilieu Rock, Thailand. Have heard reports of occasional sightings at Hin Daeng/Muang in Thailand and I believe there's a good chance in the Maldives at the right time of year.
Aug 18, 2012 2:28 AM
13Forgot to mention Sudan - excellent chance of whale shark encounters at the right time of year.
Aug 21, 2012 10:46 PM
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