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Whale shark behavior is being changed by interactions with humans

The report cited Fermin or whale shark P-383, which was seen on July 20 with deep cuts near its mouth and across its left eye.

Lamave believes that Fermin approached a motorboat to ask for food and got hit by the sea craft’s propeller.

Fermin’s wounds healed but Lamave said the whale shark’s left eye showed signs of permanent damage.

Wild animals exhibit natural wariness to possible threats, including humans, and whale sharks, which were extensively hunted in the Bohol Sea in the 1980s (Pamilacan Island in Bohol got its name from the practice of whale shark hunting, locally known as pamilak), have good reasons to fear boats and humans.

But supplemental feeding and positive reinforcement by humans in the water and on boats may have caused the whale sharks that frequent the Tan-awan interaction area to lose their natural wariness of humans.

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