Sighting not an excuse to justify offloading workers in Boracay

How can the government claim that the whale shark sighting is related to the success of its so-called rehabilitation efforts when what it did was merely close the island in the first place?

Third-party investigations have yet to verify the success of the rehabilitation they carried out in the island, if they indeed implemented such measures.

That whale shark was most likely a stray and did not have anything to do with the rehabilitation efforts. Divers say that some whale sharks occasionally pass by the waters off Boracay, with documented reports going back to as early as 2010—long before the rehabilitation efforts.

It is even possible that due to the dearth of studies conducted, visiting the waters off Boracay could actually be part of some of these whale sharks’ normal behavior, regardless of what is happening in Boracay.

Another factor is that the oceans are already warming globally. Since they comprise the planet’s largest surface area, they absorb most of the heat from an increasingly warm atmosphere. The Philippines’ seas are not immune to these temperature changes.

When there are drastic temperature changes in the sea, the marine chemistry and current routes also change. These two in turn influence how nutrients within the sea flow. Where the nutrients are is where the krill goes also. And where the krill goes, there goes the whale shark also.

Thus, there are many other factors why whale sharks like this recently reported one could have strayed from the species’ expected and widely-documented migration routes. There is no concrete evidence backing Mr. Roque’s claim.

Nevertheless, the sighting of the whale shark should not be used to justify sacrificing 24,000 workers who were affected by Duterte’s unjust closure order.#

*PHOTO CREDIT: Raegan Cahilig via ABS-CBN News.