Aerial view of Pamilacan Island, Bohol, Philippines.

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Pamilacan Island

The tiny island of Pamilacan, adrift in the Bohol Sea about 23km east of Balicasag, is cetacean central, its rich waters supporting marine megafauna including whales and dolphins, manta rays and sharks. Islanders have always lived off the sea, hunting whales until the ban in 1992, then targeting sharks and rays. In 1993 Sulliman University recorded 30 whale sharks landing in Pamilacan in just 44 days. If you visited the island in the mid-1990s, lanes would be full of shark and manta meat drying in the sun. Finally, in 1998, whale shark and manta hunting were officially banned.


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