The first governmental regulations were implemented by the Australia’s Department of Conservation and Land Management for the Whale Sharks of Ningaloo Reef in 1996. Since then, several countries lucky enough to have tourism related to whale sharks have followed suit. The most recent being the Philippines town of Oslob. Recently, tourism has risen with the sightings of whale sharks and marketing of locals to see them, not fish them.
The standard guideline diagram:
Each area also has written guidelines including local laws, required permits, and stated fines for those who choose to ignore them.