Dead Whale found in Buenavista, Guimaras

Joint personnel of Coast Guard Sub-Station (CGSS) Buenavista and Guimaras Environment and Natural Resources Office (GENRO) hauled the decomposing body of a sperm whale found in the shorelines of Barangay Sawang, Buenavista, Guimaras on January 25, 2017.

Reports revealed that the dead body of the marine mammal was spotted 700 meters away from the shorelines by the barangay kagawad of said barangay identified as Mr Rex Camarista around 3 AM today. Upon receipt of the information, personnel of CGSS Buenavista together with personnel of GENRO proceeded to the area onboard the Coast Guard Aluminum Boat to verify the report. Upon arrival, GENRO personnel identified that the subject mammal was an endangered species of Sperm Whale. The team decided to tow the dead mammal to Mc Arthur’s Wharf.

The dead Whale commonly known as “balyena” measures 4.5 meters in length and has an estimated weight of 500 kilos. The mammal’s body was properly turned-over to GENRO personnel while the cause of its death is still under investigation

Source: Coast Guard Station Iloilo, via Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

The photos clearly show that it isn’t a Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus); it’s a small Rorqual (Balaenoptera sp.). The ridges on the head suggest that this was a young Bryde’s Whale (Balaenoptera edeni).

The taxonomy of the Bryde’s Whale is still far from settled; what we call the Bryde’s Whale has been split into two subspecies or even distinct species by some authorities: the true Bryde’s Whale, a larger species found in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide (Balaenoptera brydei), and the Eden’s Whale, a smaller form that may be restricted to coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific (Balaenoptera edeni). Both species(?) have been recorded from tropical waters of Southeast Asia.

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