Doctors Jeneveve Suliva and Diane Licuan of the Provincial Veterinary Office inspect the dead calf humpback whale at Sitio Aprot, Barangay Caparispisan in Pagudpud on February 16, 2015. (Photo by Arthur Valente)

Philippines: Humpback Whale found dead in Pagudpud
By Leilane G. Adriano;

A stranded male calf Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) was found floating on surf above the sea grass area at Sitio Aprot, Barangay Caparispisan here, a report from the Provincial Agriculture Office said on Feb. 16.

In a letter addressed to Ilocos Norte Governor Ma. Imelda “Imee” R. Marcos on February 16, provincial agriculturist Norma Lagmay said the dead calf, measuring 5.87 meters long was believed to be the same
whale seen by foreign tourists surfing off Terra Rica resort in Saud Beach on February 9, 2015.

This is the first marine mammal stranding in the year 2015 in the province, according to Arthur Valente, provincial fishery regulatory officer in Ilocos Norte.

Upon inspection of the dead whale on Monday, Mr. Valente said that it was already on advanced stage of decomposition.

“It was bloated, peeling skin, with four big circular wounds situated at the ventral and side regions above, and about 30 cm on the right and left side and back of genitalia. The wounds and cuts were suspected to be shark bites and/or caused by sharp object,” Mr. Valente said based on post mortem analysis.

He added there was no trace of human interaction such as netting or direct fishery observed in the body.

The said calf was earlier spotted near Burayoc point,
a distinct navigational reference for seafarers.

According to Pepito Morata, Pagudpud municipal environment officer the humpback whale was spotted by foreign tourists in front of the Terra Rika and Apo Idon beach resort at about 3:40 pm on February 9.

Several snapshots of the marine animal taken by the tourists themselves were already posted on Facebook while the same photos were also sent to Mr. Morata for confirmation.

According to Mr. Valente, humpback whales travel as one family. They usually migrate from the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean to a warmer place like Pagudpud.

Source: Ilocos Times

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