The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reported sighting of an endangered whale shark in Taklong Island National Marine Reserve (TINMR) in the island province of Guimaras.
In a Facebook post by DENR Western Visayas, they stated that the young whale shark approached the fishing boat in the marine reserve. Flores Bitala, one of those in the fishing boat managed to take a video footage.
Three other whale sharks have been swimming in the area since March, along with several dolphins.
Rhett Arthur Diana, the acting Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) of TINMR, said that having whale sharks, sea turtles and dolphins in the area means that the marine ecosystem of the area is healthy and is free from any disturbances. He added that whale sharks might be abundant in the area, because they could find many krill and small fish there, which are what they commonly feed on.
The Philippines is currently the second country with the largest habitat of whale sharks, which are listed endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.
DENR-6 regional director Francisco Milla Jr. directed DENR Guimaras Vicente Sardina to continue its efforts in strengthening the protection of these endangered marine species.
“TINMR is a marine protected area with rich food for mammals such as whale sharks and dolphins, which can serve as an additional tourist attraction, but one that needs strict regulation,” Milla said.