Tagged as “Gentle Giants of the Ocean”, whale sharks or butanding are considered to be the biggest fish species in the world, reaching around 18 to 20 meters in length. Despite their size, whale sharks are docile creatures; they don’t have sharp teeth unlike their other shark cousins, as they are filter feeders.

Whale sharks are deemed as ‘endangered’ under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and they are listed under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).

Home to the second largest population of whale sharks in the world, the Philippines continues to work to protect these massive marine mammals. This includes banning the taking or catching of whale sharks under Republic Act No. 10654 Section 102, as well as the relentless collective effort of the country in taking care of the biodiverse habitats frequented by whale sharks.