Whale Sharks of Donsol
Whale sharks are elusive creatures. You don’t just happen upon them. By 1986, there had only been 320 recorded sightings globally. With increasing research, including better tagging and counting methods, the numbers of sightings have steadily climbed, especially in the plankton-rich feeding grounds off Belize, Honduras, Western Australia and the Philippines. Today, the total number of whale sharks in the Philippines alone is estimated to be 327. Of these, 122 sharks have been identified off the coast of Donsol this season. And that’s where we spent the last week snorkeling in the bay. Unbelievable! Watch this video so you can share this amazing experience with us.
Although whale sharks ARE sharks, they don’t feed on humans but rather on plankton and small fish (which was very comforting to know). I can’t even imagine how much they must eat to get to their full size. The largest ever confirmed specimen was 12.65 metres (41.50 ft) long and weighed more than 21.5 tonnes (47,000 lb). But unconfirmed sightings of sharks up to 18 meters (59 ft) have also been reported. Well, maybe next time. By the way, the biggest whale shark we saw in Donsol was about 10 meters (32 ft) – it was like swimming next to a jumbo jet.