The Philippines have long been on the forefront of shark and ray conservation. In 1998 they prohibited the catch of whale sharks and manta rays as these species were contributing to the economy through tourism and it was clear a targeted fishery wouldn’t be sustainable. Conservationist, scientists and other stakeholders are now taking it a step further and vow to gain more protection for these vulnerable species by the year 2020.
This story was made possible with the help of the Conservation Media Group, the Tubbataha Management Office, Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines, Save Philippine Seas and the Large Marine Vertebrate Project.
Shot by Steve De Neef for The Pew Charitable Trusts with help of the Conservation Media Foundation.