Monday, April 5, 2010

Philippines President moves to protect whale sharks!

Philippines - April 3, 2010: Concerned by the attacks on whale sharks in the country's waters, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, an avid scuba diver, has mobilized government forces to reinforce measures to conserve and protect the gentle sea giants from extinction.

In Administrative Order No. 282, authorities were allowed to impose penalties to persons harming or killing a whale shark, locally known as “butanding,” and grant rewards to those who protect or rescue any wounded filter-feeding shark.

The President also released P15 million from her social fund to support capacity-building and monitoring and enforcement activities of the local government units and national government agencies in the protection of whale sharks, considered as the world's largest fish measuring 40 feet or more.

"The whale sharks that thrive in Philippine waters continue to be threatened and killed despite existing legal measures for their protection, the need to further intensify international and national protection efforts to conserve the species and to sustain the ecotourism development in certain coastal communities in the country has become manifest," the order read.

For more information, GENALYN KABILING’s full story appears at