Children look at the dead Dolphin found Tuesday morning off the shores of Dimasalang town in Masbate province.
Photo: PNP Dimasalang Masbate Facebook

Philippines: Dead Dolphin found floating off Masbate
By Suzene Cajegas, 3rd May 2017;

A lifeless Dolphin, locally called “lumba-lumba”, was found floating on sea near the shores of Dimasalang town in Masbate province early Tuesday, a police report said Wednesday.

The Dimasalang police received a call around 5:30 a.m. from an employee of the town’s local government unit regarding the two-meter long dead Dolphin that was found in Barangay (village) Canomay by Junal Alvarez, a resident in the village.

Municipal agriculturist Irish Cabrera and police recovered the dead Dolphin to collect information on its age, sex and variety of the species. The town officers have already coordinated with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Masbate to submit information on the recovery of the Dolphin.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

This Dolphin has apparently been identified as a Pygmy Killer Whale (Feresa attenuata).

At about 5:47 in the morning of May 2, 2017 this office received a report thru phone call from Mr Rimus Bien-LGU employee that about 5:45 in the morning on the same date Mr Junal Alvarez resident of Brgy Canomay, this municipality found one dead body of Dolphin, locally known as Lumba-lumba floating going to the shoreline of Brgy. Canomay. Personnel of this station led by PO3 Misael T Cabrera HRDD PNCO, under the supervision of PSINSP ALVARO DC VENTABAL, OIC together with Mrs Irish B Cabrera-Municipal Agriculturist Officer of said place aided the recovery and burying of the found dead Dolphin. Said dDolphin was 2.24 meters long and 1.29 circumference. The recovery of found dead Dolphin was already coordinated with BFAR. Other information as the age, sex and variety of said Dolphin will be relayed as soon as obtained.

Source: Philippine National Police Dimasalang Masbate Facebook

This Dolphin has apparently been identified as a Pygmy Killer Whale (Feresa attenuata).

Spinner Dolphin. Dr Evelyn Saberon inspects the Dolphin carcass found in coast of Libon, Albay for necropsy at the Regional Fisheries Health Management and Diagnostics Laboratory at Fabrica, Bula, Camarines Sur. Photo courtesy of BFAR.
Photo: BFAR

Philippines: Parasites, changing temperature cause Dolphin deaths in Bicol
‘Parasites or their eggs may be carried through human or animal feces dumped in the sea that fish and even the marine mammals may feed on,’ says Dr Evelyn Saberon of BFAR
By Rhaydz B. Barcia, 11th March 2017;

Parasites from sea creatures that can affect humans killed two Dolphins in Bicol, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Bicol reported here.

Dr Evelyn Saberon, BFAR veterinarian who conducted the necropsy of two stranded Dolphins, said she found thread-like worms in the stomach of the Dolphins found in Libon, Albay and Mercedes in Camarines Norte.

The Contracaecum parasite can also be found in humans.

Nonie Enolva, BFAR-Bicol Marine Fisheries Resources Management Section chief and spokesperson, said that a stranded adult female Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris), measuring 1.6 meters in length and weighing 43 kilograms, was brought in for necropsy at the Regional Fisheries Health Management and Diagnostics Laboratory of the BFAR regional office on March 4, 2017.

“The carcass was brought in by BFAR’s Fisheries Emergency Stranding Response Team personnel who were deployed immediately to the area after residents reported the Dolphin stranding on the same day,” Enolva said.

Spinner Dolphins are well known for acrobatic acts as they spin their bodies when they emerge from the water.

Enolva said this is the 3rd reported “marine mammal stranding” in Bicol that has resulted in death this year. This came less than a week after another Dolphin died in Mercedes despite rescue and release efforts last February 28, 2017.

After conducting a necropsy, Saberon found that the mammal had enteritis and its stomach and bladder were empty. This suggests that the animal had no food intake in the past few days prior to its death.

Petechial hemorrhaging (small red spots) was also detected in the animal’s intestines.

Contracaecum parasites – though not as severe as in the first Dolphin – also contributed to its death.

“The parasites were still alive. These parasites weakened the animal until its death,” Saberon said.

Temperature changes

Sudden changes in temperature also contributed to the stress of the Dolphin.

“The sudden changes in temperature contributed to the stress of the animal and that is why Dolphin stranding is more common in this part of the year,” Saberon added.

Saberon explained that some parasites found in marine mammals are zoonotic or can infest more than one species.

“Parasites or their eggs may be carried through human or animal feces dumped in the sea [that] fish and even the marine mammals may feed on,” she said.

Blood and tissue samples were taken from the animal to the Marine Mammal Research Stranding Laboratory in UP Diliman for their Project LepTox.

Project LepTox is a research effort to investigate the occurrence of leptospirosis and toxoplasmosis, a disease caused by a certain parasite that also affects humans.

Megamouth Shark

It will be recalled that in January 2015, a male Megamouth Shark was also stranded and found in the coast of Pioduran, Albay.

The Shark was captured by 39-year-old Edgar Chavez – a fisherman from Barangay Marigondon in Pioduran, Albay – and his companions.

Enolva said the Megamouth Shark (scientific name: Megachasma pelagios) is also the 3rd biggest filter-feeding Shark. A Megamouth Shark is among the rarest species in the world, weighing one ton with a life span of 100 years.

The Megamouth Shark can reach a maximum length of 17 feet and resides in great depths or deep water. It rises to the surface at night to feed on plankton.

Enolva said the Megamouth Shark is not edible as it contains poisonous toxins – it can have bio-accumulation of heavy metals. Once eaten by humans, it could cause infertility and even cancer.

The Megamouth Shark underwent taxidermy (all organs of the specimen were removed and its skin soaked in formalin) and stuffing for museum display.

The Shark, through taxidermy, was preserved and displayed at the Albay Parks and Wildlife for scientific study, following the order of then Albay governor and now 2nd District Representative Joey Sarte Salceda.

In July 2010, a giant Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) that had started to decompose, was also washed ashore in the coastal town of Rapu-Rapu, Albay.

Source: Rappler

A dead Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) stranded in Gigmoto, Catanduanes last 29 November.

Source: Kristian Aldea Facebook, via Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

Photo: Annabel Aborquez Facebook

Philippines: Lake Buhi in state of calamity due to fish kill
By Erwin Colcol, 1st December 2016;

Lake Buhi in Camarines Sur has been declared a state of calamity due to massive fish kill, a television report said.

Citing local officials, GMA News’ Unang Balita reported Thursday morning that up to 1,000 fish cage owners have been affected by the fish kill.

Authorities said fish kill usually occurs after continuous rain for several days, adding that chemicals from fish feed also cause deaths of fish.

They said an estimated P500,000 in local revenue has been lost because of the fish kill.

Buhi government officials had met with Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources experts and civilian volunteers to discuss ways to address the problem.

Source: GMA News Online

Photo: Annabel Aborquez Facebook

Philippines: Chemicals in Tilapia feeds, changes in temperature cause Lake Buhi fish kill; town in state of calamity
By Ruel Saldico, 25th November 2016;

A state of calamity was declared in this municipality because of the occurrence of a fish kill over the past few weeks, delivering a big blow to almost a thousand fish cage owners and operators. The initial estimate of damage is at least half a million pesos.

Mayor Margie Aguinillo said that while it is the Tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) species devastated by the occurrence, what is disturbing is that even the smallest fish species endemic to the lake, the Philippine Goby (Pandaka pygmaea actually Mistichthys luzonensis) or “sinarapan,” have also been wiped out.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), however, said the fish species still exists, but only in lakelets around Lake Buhi and not in its massive expanse which is prone to bacteria, especially during the rainy season.

Fish kills have been a common occurrence in the lake in the months of September-November, said Aguinillo, and this is due to several factors such as the sudden change of temperature in the lake and an increase in bacteria.

Last Thursday, she met with civilian volunteers, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and the BFAR; and concluded that water contamination in Lake Buhi could also be traced to the chemicals introduced in the lake in the form of feeds given to Tilapia in fish cages.

One of the immediate solutions agreed upon was to establish a detachment of the Coast Guard Auxiliary Unit here that will ensure no more additional fish pens will be built in the lake to avoid overcrowding and that existing fish cage operators will refrain from using chemicals to feed their Tilapia.

Source: Manila Bulletin

Philippines: Whales and dolphins have own cemetery too

By Frank Peñones Jr., 25th October 2016;

Whales and Dolphins here are assigned their own graveyard too.

Dead sea mammals, which are collectively called cetaceans, have been allotted a burial place at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Freshwater Fisheries Center (RFFC) in Barangay Fabrica in Bula, Camarines Sur.

“We have so far a dozen cases of dead Whales and Dolphins found or stranded in the beaches of Bicol, so we thought of burying them properly, and that’s how the Cetacean Cemetery came to be,” Noni Enolva, spokesperson for BFAR, in Bicol said.

She added that a Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima) found in Ragay in April 2014 was the first cetacean to have been buried in the cemetery; while the latest were two Spinner Dolphins (Stenella longirostris) found in Tinambac town in July this year.

Cetaceans are a widely distributed family of finned and carnivorous aquatic mammals, which include Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises.

Enolva said that when these dead mammals are found, they are brought to the RFFC for necropsy to determine the probable cause of their death by members of the Fisheries Regional Emergency Stranding Responding Team.

Some causes of death include ingestion of plastic and other solid wastes and acoustic trauma, a sensory hearing loss caused by dynamite explosions or seafloor drilling.

“They become deaf due to these explosions and eventually lose their equilibrium, so they drown. A deaf whale is a dead whale,” Enolva said.

Source: The Manila Times

Philippines: Whales and dolphins have own cemetery too

Photo: Nonie Evolva Facebook

Philippines: Fish kill damage reaches P100 M
By Louise Maureen Simeon, 21st October 2016;

Losses due to the fish kill in Lake Buhi in Camarines Sur have reached P100 million, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said yesterday.

“Damaged Tilapia may reach 100 metric tons,” said Nonie Enolva, BFAR-Bicol chief.

Enolva said earlier reports that losses have reached P178 million are premature, noting that they are still collating information from concerned local government units.

The BFAR regional office said restocking of fish cages should be suspended until it has been determined that the lake is favorable for fish culture.

The agency also called for the cleaning of sediments and clearing of Water Hyacinths (Eichhornia crassipes) to improve water circulation.

BFAR said it would set a limit on the number of fish cages to be installed per operator and enforce compliance with reportorial requirements on production as well as stricter ecological solid waste management.

Tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) fingerlings will be provided to affected fish pen operators, it added.

Enolva said the fish kill occurred after Typhoon Karen generated inland waves that caused the upwelling of Lake Buhi.

Examination conducted by BFAR showed a compromised level of dissolved oxygen ranging from sub-lethal to normal.

Source: The Philippine Star

Fish cage operators in Lake Buhi in Camarines Sur province harvest Tilapia that survived the latest fish kill in the lake that forced the fish cage owners to sell their produce for as low as P5 per kg.
Photo: Nonie Evolva

Philippines: Lake Buhi fish kill brings P178M in loss
By Juan Escandor Jr., 20th October 2016;

The amount of losses from a fish kill that struck Lake Buhi in Camarines Sur province after Typhoon “Karen” slammed into the Bicol region has reached P178 million, reports from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said.

More than 50 km from this city, the 1,600-hectare Lake Buhi in Buhi town is the biggest inland body of water in Bicol where Tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) fish culture has been extensive since the 1980s. It is also the home of Sinarapan (Mistichthys luzonensis), a goby species considered to be the smallest commercial fish in the world.

Nonie Enolva, BFAR spokesperson, said the agency’s “conservative estimate” showed that each fish cage operator lost at least P1 million as a result of the fish kill.

Enolva said the fish kill, which started on Oct. 15, happened because of “compromised dissolved oxygen level,” when lake water was disturbed and its level increased due to strong wind and heavy rain whipped up by the typhoon.

Fish stress

“[Lake condition] caused extreme stress to cultured fish,” she said.

Beethoven Nachor, Buhi municipal administrator, said a local government team would assess the environmental impact of the fish kill, account for the number of families affected and prepare a mitigation plan.

Nachor said the team would conduct a cleanup drive since some fish cage operators either left Tilapia rotting in cages or dumped them in the lake.

He said 16 percent of Lake Buhi had been occupied by fish cages, which is 6 percent more than the size allowed for aquaculture development.

History of losses

Nachor said the price of Tilapia has gone down to as low as P5 per kg from a high of P120 per kg after the fish kill.

In 2011, Lake Buhi was also hit by a massive fish kill, with losses estimated to reach P80 million.

Dennis del Socorro, BFAR Bicol regional director, asked the Buhi government to enforce a local law that sets the size of the lake to be devoted to aquaculture to just 10 percent to prevent another fish kill.

Del Socorro also recommended the suspension of re-stocking of cages until the BFAR declares lake water to be favorable for fish culture again.

He said the local government must inventory fish cage operators and set limits on the number of cages they operate.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Photos: Annabel Aborquez Facebook

Philippines: P9-M worth of fish affected by fish kill in CamSur
By Rizza Mostar, 18th October 2016;

At least P9 million worth of Tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) have gone to waste as 95 percent of the fish being grown in Lake Buhi were affected by a fish kill incident.

Overcrowding is seen as the possible cause of the frequent incidents of fish kill in Lake Buhi as over 15,000 fish pens are situated in the lake. This amount is 10 percent more than the ideal capacity of breeding pens in the lake.

Rotten fish are now seen at the lake and a clean-up drive is underway, the Lake Development Office (LDO) said.

The LDO is still waiting for the water sampling result from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to determine the proper solution to end the fish kills in the lake.

For now, the local government has committed to give fingerlings to affected operators who are registered and are paying the right taxes.

Source: ABS-CBN News