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The waters of Donsol, in the Southern tip of the Bicol region, have been home to whale sharks for many years, though it wasn’t until 1998 the people realised its potential for tourism. The WWF-Philippines worked alongside the local government, department of tourism and the stakeholders, to protect the sharks in the bay, and to set up effective and sustainable tourism practices. The area soon became known as the “Whale Shark Capitol of the World”.

WWF Philippines has collected extensive data on the whale sharks since 2007, and in March 2015 began a collaboration with LAMAVE in order to continue the great and essential ground work in Donsol.

Using this data, the LAMAVE team is building a comprehensive database of individual whale sharks using photo ID. This, in combination with our work in Oslob and Southern Leyte, is essential to developing an understanding of whale shark migration networks across the Philippines and beyond.

To learn how you can support our research in Donsol, please click here.