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Whale sharks at Oslob are now part of a new ecotourism industry. A group of the world’s poorest fishermen are protecting endangered whale sharks from being finned alive at Oslob in the Philippines. The fishermen have stopped fishing and turned to tourism, feeding whale sharks tiny amounts of krill to draw them closer to shore so tourists can snorkel or dive with them. Oslob is the most reliable place in the world to swim with the massive fish. In calm waters, they come within 200m of the shore, and hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to see them. Former fishermen have gone from earning just a US$1.40 a day on average, to US$62 a day. Our research involved investigating what effect the whale shark tourism has had on livelihoods and destructive fishing in the area. We found that Oslob is one of the world’s most surprising and successful alternative livelihood and conservation projects. A drone shot of whale shark tourism, about 100 metres from shore. The small boats with one person are feeders. The longer boats are for the tourists swimming with face masks to see the whale sharks. Destructive fishing Illegal and destructive fishing, involving dynamite, cyanide, fish […]

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