Guidelines on Interacting with Butanding

  1. Contact either the Sorsogon Provincial Tourism Council in Sorsogon City, or any of the Municipal Tourism Councils in Donsol, Pilar, Castilla, Magallanes, or any of the coastal towns in whose waters this large pod of Whale Sharks also congregate. You may also contact the local government or municipal office for information.
  2. Attend a Butanding interaction briefing and wait until you are assigned an accredited boat and boat crew, including a Butanding Interaction Officer (BIO). The BIO is your official group leader whose instructions should be strictly followed
  3. WHAT TO BRING: Packed food and water, sun protection apparel and lotions, snorkeling gear, and underwater or video cameras, minus artificial underwater illumination devices or gadgets.
  4. WHERE TO STAY: You have the option to stay in any of the hotels, pensions or lodging houses in Sorsogon City, or at small pensions and lodging houses, or resort cottages in Donsol, Pilar, Castilla or Magallanes. There are also accredited home-stay facilities in Donsol that are comfortable, clean and homey. Restaurants, fast food chains, cafes, small eateries and food stalls are available in Sorsogon City as well as in Donsol and the other towns. Ask your BIO to guide you to local food shops offering clean and safe food, and sanitary facilities. As much as possible, eat only in accredited food shops. Seafood is abundant, which you can cook yourself al fresco on the white sand beaches along your route.
  5. WARNING: Don�t throw waste around. Pollution will not only drive away the Butanding forever from our waters, but also destroy our environment. We must all work together to manage this most precious natural resource sustainably and compassionately. Protect the Butanding and the environment for the future.
  6. AFTER INTERACTION: Fill up your Butanding Interaction Research Form which were distributed to you during your briefing. Submit this to your BIO (Butanding Interaction Officer).

  • DO’s and DON’Ts
  • Do not touch or ride the Whale Shark.
  • Do not restrict the movement of the Whale Shark, or impede its natural path.
  • Maintain a distance of 3 meters from the head or body of the Whale Shark, and 4 meters from its tail.
  • Do not use flash photography.
  • Do not use SCUBA gear, scooters, jet skis or any other motorized underwater propulsion machines.
  • A maximum of six (6) swimmers per Whale Shark is allowed, and only one (1) boat per Whale Shark.

Provided by Sorsogon Tourism

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