I think it safe to say, that whale shark watching in Oslob, Cebu is the most popular adventure and tourist destination so far for Cebu and for me personally, it out ranks the kawasan falls canyoneering adventure. OOppss… again this is just about popularity. Now let us get to the facts why it is safe to swim with these gentle giants.
Even until now, many (probably) are still thinking that this could be somehow risky since it is still a shark and by the word shark, follows the word attack. I even spoke to a friend and a neighbor inviting her to swim with the whale sharks in Oslob and I will swim with them even it would be my third time but same thought, she’s afraid it might bite and she’s also afraid in swimming at the depths though.
According to the wikipedia.org, “whale shark is a slow-moving filter-feeding carpet shark and the largest known extant fish species. The largest confirmed individual had a length of 12.65 m (41.5 ft) and a weight of about 21.5 t (47,000 lb)”. It is also mentioned that “The whale shark is a filter feeder – one of only three known filter-feeding shark species (along with the basking shark and the megamouth shark). It feeds on plankton including copepods, krill, fish eggs, Christmas Island red crab larvae and small nektonic life, such as small squid or fish”.
Please take note that on all of those mentioned that whale shark will eat, none of those even measured more than 3 inches in length. Well, despite its body size, weight and length, and more so with the size of its mouth, who would really believe it will not eat humans if you don’t have the facts right…? With its size compared to the size of humans, it can surely swallow it all but of course, not going to happen as it will not those bigger than even an inch in length.
You have probably seen a lot of facebook posts from your friends on their whale shark watching and encounter in Oslob, Cebu and I am certain that almost all (if not all) of their underwater pictures have smaller fishes swimming along with the whale sharks even at just few inches to few feet from the whale sharks mouth and they have not been eaten. So these smaller fishes themselves feel safe to swim the whale sharks. Also, as what you can see or probably have seen in youtube videos, the locals from Oslob are feeding them with tiny shrimps or prawns. Probably those are what is being made “uyap”…?
Would you feel safe now to do the whale shark watching in Oslob, Cebu? If not yet, let me convince you further. There are few citing on the internet that some people are even riding on the whale sharks. It probably happen before 2011 (not sure). It has gained a lot of comments, bad ones at that for doing it but it just show how safe it is to be near the whale sharks. I am not saying it happened in tan-awan, Oslob, Cebu since they are really strict on their rules to protect the whale sharks.