Donsol whale shark guides call for no feeding of wildlife

PHILIPPINES, July 1, 2016 Today sees the release of the fourth campaign film from Their Future Our Future - this one starring the Butanding Interaction Officers (BIOs) and tourism staff of Donsol, Sorsogon, the Philippines first whale shark tourism destination. Their message is clear “Do not feed wildlife”.

The film, aptly titled “Natural Born Feeders” continues: “Feeding wildlife changes their natural behaviour and can affect their health”. A statement supported by a publication from the Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute (LAMAVE) which found that provisioning (supply with food) modified the behaviour of whale sharks.

The film is the fourth in a series of five films from Their Future Our Future, a collaborative campaign between seven NGOs championing sustainable marine wildlife tourism in the Philippines in anticipation of the launch of new national marine wildlife interaction guidelines in the Philippines. The new law, which the films are based on, will protect marine wildlife as well as local livelihoods from unregulated and irresponsible tourism which threatens to destroy reefs, scare animals and jeopardize livelihoods. We only need to look at the tourism boom, in Thailand which brought habitat and coral reef destruction, forcing the closure of tourism sites and decimating natural resources. This cannot happen in the Philippines.

Filipino citizens and international tourists can show their support for this new law by signing the online petition at: http://bit.ly/powertoprotectph

Use your #powertoprotectPH. Protect their future and they will protect our future.

A copy of the “Natural Born Feeders” video can be found at: https://youtu.be/HOh8o6nlzSA (English), https://youtu.be/aDdEAt_w0Y0 (Tagalog). Further campaign films staring the communities of Malapascua Island, Cebu; Pintuyan, Southern Leyte; Apo Island, Negros and Pamilacan Island, Bohol can be found on the Their Future Our Future Facebook page.

For further information please contact s.snow@lamave.org

Notes:

“THEIR FUTURE OUR FUTURE” is a video campaign to raise awareness on marine wildlife interaction protocol in anticipation of the launch of new national marine wildlife interaction guidelines in the Philippines. The campaign in spearheaded by the Large Marine Vertebrate Research Institute Philippines (LAMAVE) in collaboration with six other non government organisations (NGOs): Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines, Save Philippine Seas, Greenpeace Philippines, Green Fins, Reef-World Foundation and Responsible Tourism Philippines.

The new interaction guidelines, are being drafted by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), as well as the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Interior and Local Government