As a Cebuana, I can say this.
Yes, it’s only in Cebu. The only place in the world to actively feed whale sharks. What for? A tourist attraction.
The only place in the world that puts profit above the long term effects of feeding a highly migratory, vulnerable to extinction, fish.
The only place to really cheapen what should be a breathtaking experience with one of nature’s Giants. By conditioning them to beg at boats like puppy dogs.
The only place where people complain about only having a 30 minute viewing time with, at times, up to 14 sharks a day.
I’m a proud Cebuana, but not about this. Yes. Only in Cebu.
Mountain View Park Nature Park, Busay, Cebu
The city of sleeping hearts.
This exact view is one of my favourite views in the whole world. As cities go, Cebu, you ain’t bad at all…
Massive props to clusterpod for planting a tree in my name! Very honoured :D
Fish Feeding: Evil at it’s most innocent?
Fish feeding is common throughout the tropical tourist spots of SE Asia (and I’m sure the world). I have seen families tottering to jetties with so many loaves of bread they could retire a baker. And what do they do, chuck it on the surface of the water. It then erupts with squabbling damselfish, usually the Indo-pacific Seargeantfish like in the photo above, fighting for the easy meal.
I myself have been snorkeling when a well-meaning boatman has thrown bread in my vicinity. The chaos that ensued around me was intimidating. I could feel the brush of slimy scales on my legs, and couldn’t see through my mask for black stripes zipping around gobbling up the bread. An unforgettable experience without a doubt.
But if you take a moment to think, you might remember any good nature reserve instructing you not to feed wild animals. It’s no different in a marine environment. There is no underwater baker these fish frequent when we aren’t so generous with the yeasty delectables. Bread is not their natural food.
Algae is. Apart from the distress on the fish’s digestive systems (oh no! Carbs!), feeding them changes their behaviour. Instead of grazing algae off the reefs hard surfaces, making room for new coral growth, and preventing algae from out competing the coral for space and resources (all of which are essential for a balanced Coral Reef ecosystem), they are hanging around anything that makes a splash on the surface: a person, a cab, a cigarette butt.
Feeding fish means they will no longer fulfill their ecological niche. It’s like removing a link in the food chain. Throwing the food web into chaos. The act seems innocent enough, and most people won’t think past the excitement of being overwhelmed by nature, but as is so often the case, we have unforeseen consequences on the environment. Something, perhaps, we shouldn’t take as lightly as we do.
I wish more of Bali was still like this. My dad took this shot in the ’70s. For more of his photo’s check out shit-my-dad-shot.
BLOG THREE: Shit-my-dad-shot [with his camera].
» Awesome travel photos my Dad has taken over the years.
Brooding, not broody.
I’ve moved around so much these last few months, that something feels amiss if I don’t regularly spend hours on a bus motoring through bleak Malaysian highways fringed with Oil Palm plantations. This view comforts me:
There is something timeless about bus journeys. The gentle rocking of road travel, the elevated view of the world passing by, the silent camaraderie of fellow passengers, that feeling that yours were not the first feet to tread this path, nor will they be the last. I do some of my best thinking on a bus, with an appropriate soundtrack, of course.
I’ve thought up, and solved many a problem on a bus, though not necessarily the same ones. I love that little introverted bubble that comes with your seat, your headphones, and your own personal portal into the outside world [always sit by the window]. Lots of time to ponder your universe…