1999 Photo Contest, Nature, 3rd prize

Jürgen Freund

for Mare Magazine

01 January, 1998

For generations the fishermen of the tiny island of Pamilacan have been known as the Hunters of the Bohol Sea. Once they concentrated their efforts on whales and manta rays, recently they turned their skills to whale sharks. Rather than nets or harpoons, the men use hardened steel hooks to catch the giant sharks by hand. Once caught, the whale sharks are towed back to shore alive, then killed and cut up for sale. A dead fish would sink and pull the boat down with it. The government of the Philippines has recently decreed whale shark hunting illegal.

About the photographer

Jürgen Freund

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