Whale sharks are completely harmless to humans. Sadly the opposite is not at all true. If I was an expert diver and brave enough, then yes! So glad to see good-hearted people risking their lives to save the animals!
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100% yes. They are amazing creatures! Fishing nets do more damage to marine life than most anything else (except plastics in our oceans). Bagan fishing platforms are targeting baitfish such as silverside, and if a whale shark, or several, are brought up in the nets, they are always released. Always. The fishermen and local communities view whale sharks as majestic and signs of good luck. These divers were only doing what would inevitably have been done anyway, and to masquerade it as a rescue while conveniently having a camera crew on hand is disappointing. Shark ugly christmas.
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The whale sharks come to the pagans for a meal and almost always return even after their release, unharmed and unstressed. The fishing industry has an endless list of problems that need to be addressed; Nat Geo shouldn’t be emotionally manipulating a relatively harmless encounter and ultimately distracting from actual bycatch and overfishing issues.