Lawrence Lerios, from Taguig City in the Philippines, captured a stunning video of whale sharks feeding while out on a boat with friends at a Cebu resort. He swam around with the massive and docile creatures, capturing the most incredible footage.
In the video, we see Lerios and his friends padding out on the water, heading towards the whale sharks. These massive creatures grow up to 40 feet in length and weigh up to 40,000 pounds. However, as they are so docile, the friends jumped into the water to join the sharks.
As Lerios swam around the magnificent creatures, capturing his video, they were quite unperturbed, allowing him to film to his heart’s content.
Wide Open A whaleshark feeding with it’s mouth wide open as a diver approaches from the rear. by mchow http://ift.t… pic.twitter.com/I0be7ysLgO
— Cesar Losada (@cesar_losada) January 25, 2015
While this was a good experience for the vacationers, it is not always such a good idea to have such close encounters with these massive creatures. In the case of commercial fishermen, they often deploy fishing nets around the whale sharks when fishing for tuna, which tend to gather around the huge sharks close to the surface.
Chris Fanning, a fishery policy analyst with NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region, said that NOAA has issued regulations to lessen the impact of the tuna fishing on the whale sharks. Fanning told Yahoo! News that a mini-ecosystem builds up under the sharks, and the fishermen are exploiting this to increase their catch. He added that they are not purposefully targeting the sharks, however.
Their methods have, unfortunately, often resulted in the injury or even death of whale sharks, and an international commission has now adopted new regulations to protect them, especially in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, the whale shark is now considered to be a vulnerable species, and the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species states that the population of whale sharks is decreasing.
However, in the meantime, Lerios has given us the opportunity to see these magnificent whale sharks swimming free in their environment. The video is included above and is aptly titled, “Whale, whale, whale what do we have here?”
The Inquisitr recently reported on the story of a struggling dolphin which two lifeguards in Oceanside, California, managed to rescue, with a third friend capturing the amazing encounter on video.
[Image: Whale Shark CC by-SA 2.0 Laika ac]