Photos: Gary Cabinta, via Peewee Bacuño Twitter

Philippines: Dugong found dead on Sarangani beach
By , 17th October 2017;

A lifeless Dugong (Dugong dugon) or sea cow was found on the beach in Glan, Sarangani on Tuesday morning.

According to GMA News’ stringer Peewee Bacuño, the Dugong was spotted along a coastal area in Sitio Nacolil, Barangay Lago at 5 a.m.

In March this year, a dead Dugong was also found in the province.

Residents of Barangay Kayupo in Kiamba town spotted the sea mammal, which weighed more than 500 kilograms.

Source: GMA News Online

Another fish kill affects barangay residents in Negros Occidental

5th April 2017;

Another fish kill blighted Pontevedra in Negros Occidental over the weekend, a second in the town since the first in late February.

GMA News’ “Unang Balita” reported Wednesday that the second fish kill incident happened in a creek in Barangay Don Salvador Benedicto.

Last Saturday, barangay residents were surprised to see numerous dead fish floating in Tuburan Creek, GMA News stringer Erwin Nicavera said.

Residents immediately alerted local Fishery authorities to investigate the fish kill’s cause, noting that only last February the same incident occurred in a river traversing three other barangays in the town.

Bantay-Dagat members took water samples from the creek for laboratory test.

They noted that water analysis from the February fish kill have been delayed, and that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environment Management Bureau has yet to determine the cause.

Local officials in Don Mariano Benedicto are monitoring the creek’s situation, saying that the number of dead fish has not increased since Tuesday.

Residents feared the fish kill would affect their livelihood, the report said.

Source: GMA News Online

Another fish kill affects barangay residents in Negros Occidental

Photos: Erwin Dumaguit Facebook

Philippines: Man-sized Guitarfish in Leyte dies after its fin was cut off
By TJ Dimacali, 13th March 2017;

A 10-foot-long (3-meter-long) Guitarfish (Rhinobatos Rhynchobatus) sp., known locally as “arado”) washed ashore in Dulag, Leyte, last weekend and may have been a victim of poaching.

According to a report on GMA News TV’s Unang Balita, the fish’s dorsal fin had been torn off, eventually leading to its death despite residents’ best efforts to return it to the sea.

The IUCN lists several species of Guitarfish as endangered due to overfishing for their prized dorsal fins, which are sought-after to make soup and medicine.

It was not clear as of press time whether the Guitarfish in Leyte was a victim of poaching or if it somehow lost its fin in an accident.

Closely related to Rays and Sharks, Guitarfish are bottom feeders that prey mostly on clams, worms, and other small animals on the sea floor.

Source: GMA News Online

The common name “Guitarfish” often refers to species from the family Rhinobatidae (Rhinobatus sp.) and Glaucostegidae (Glaucostegus sp.). The members of the family Rhinidae (or Rhynchobatidae) are typically known as Wedgefishes (Rhynchobatus sp.). Several species of Wedgefishes are known from the tropical Indo-Pacific; based on the external morphology seen in the photos, this is likely to be a White-spotted Wedgefish (Rhynchobatus australiae).

Philippines: Beached Sperm Whale in Davao killed by garbage
By Timothy James Dimacali, 20th December 2016;

A Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) that washed ashore in Davao del Norte last weekend was found to have died from ingesting human garbage, according to a report on GMA News To Go.

Sperm Whales are listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The 38.8-foot (11.8-meter) long creature, about the size of a transit bus, was killed by just an armload full of plastic trash that had choked up its digestive system.

The Whale was reportedly found by locals last Saturday, December 17. It was subsequently autopsied by Darrell Blatchley of the local D’ Bone Collector Museum.

The grueling 28-hour autopsy found plastic trash and fishing nets in the animal’s guts.

“(That’s) all it takes to kill a Whale,” Darrell said on his Facebook page.

“Some call them monsters of the deep. The monster is the person who killed it by being lazy and tossing their trash in the ocean,” he added.

Blatchley founded the D’ Bone Collector museum in 2012 to help raise public awareness of the need for wildlife protection and conservation.

Source: GMA News Online

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

Philippines: Endangered Green Sea Turtle dies from plastic ingestion
23rd October 2016;

A Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) that ingested plastic garbage died Saturday in Davao City due to infection.

Citing an environmental NGO, GMA News stringer Peewee Bacuño said the sickly Sea Turtle was washed ashore on Friday in Davao City’s Barangay 78.

Fishermen brought it to the NGO office where the Turtle was examined.

Darrel Blatchley, the NGO’s president, said the Turtle grew weak after ingesting over 10 types of plastic materials floating in the sea.

Blatchley said the Green Turtle species in the Sea Turtle family is already endangered.

Source: GMA News Online

Philippines: Fish kill affects Lake Sebu

By Erwin Colcol, 6th October 2016;

An estimated 200 fish cages have reportedly been affected after a fish kill struck Lake Cebu in South Cotabato, an Unang Balita report said on Thursday.

Authorities said the sudden decrease of oxygen level in the lake, due to the shifting weather and temperature conditions, caused the fish kill.

Caretakers reportedly tried to collect some of the dead fish to make “tuyo” (dried fish).

Fish farm owners called for the local government’s support to help them recover from bankruptcy.

Lake Sebu is a natural lake within the Alah Valley region in the southwestern part of South Cotabato province.

Source: GMA News Online

Philippines: Fish kill affects Lake Sebu

Photo: Bfar PO Basco Facebook

Philippines: Beaked Whale found dead in Basco, Batanes
By , 2016;

The carcass of a Beaked Whale was found on the shore in Basco, Batanes, the office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in the province has reported.

The Beaked Whale was found by some residents at around 8 a.m. on Friday, GMA News’ Unang Balita reported on Monday.

According to BFAR, the Beaked Whale sustained stab wounds in different parts of the body, mostly in the ventral region, or the abdomen area.

The bureau also noted that there is an estimated 20-25 kilograms of missing flesh in the dorsal area, or the back portion of the Beaked Whale.

The authorities tried to perform further examination on the carcass but was unable to do so because of the early decomposition of the dead Beaked Whale.

“We attempted to perform necropsy examination to collect samples, however, upon opening of the carcass, the internal organs of the animal is already in the early stage of decomposition. With this, it is already not advisable to collect such samples from the carcass for histopathological examination,” said BFAR Basco in its Facebook post.

The bureau ordered the burying of the Whale carcass due to its foul smell that may pose danger to public health and safety.

Meanwhile, Dr. Lem Aragones of the Institute of Environmetal Sciences and Meteorology said in a Facebook comment, that the carcass belongs to a Blainville’s Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon densirostris).

According to Whale and Dolphin Conservation, a leading global charity for the protection of whales and dolphins, Blanville’s Beaked Whale is widely distributed in temperate and tropical waters of Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian ocean.

The population size of the said Whale is unknown, but threats to this species according to the WDC include naval sonar exercises, pollution, bycatch and hunting.

Source: GMA News Online

Photos: Christine Mangubat Facebook

Philippines: Flying Lemur mistaken for aswang
27th June 2016;

Kagwang, not aswang.

Facebook users are up in arms over a post from June 24 branding a Philippine Flying Lemur (Cynocephalus volans) “aswang.” The Flying Lemur is shown being restrained and it is unclear where and how it was caught, and if it is still alive.

Contrary to the user’s claims that the kagwang attacked other animals in the area, it is actually a “folivore” or an animal that mainly eats leaves.

The kagwang is endemic to the Philippines, particularly in Mindanao Faunal Region. lists it as an endangered species.

The photo has been shared over five thousand times since posting, with many spreading information about the Flying Lemur and discouraging violent behavior against it and other animals.

“The last time I saw kagwang (Philippine Flying Lemur) was in my early childhood (around 6 or 7 years old) when our neighbor in Sitio Ilawod (Salog) of Brgy Caminto in Inopacan, Leyte caught one,” one user wrote. “This post reminds me how disgusting the smell of kagwang was — sobrang anghit, maangsong-maangso, masangsang sa ilong — triple worse than the smell of flying bat. No wonder my old folks would cuss ”nanimaho ka nang kagwang“ if you forgot or was too lazy to take a bath. The poor kagwang was slaughtered and taken as pulutan.”

The user attempted to tag the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and once again spread the detail that the Philippine Flying Lemur is endangered.

Source: GMA News Online

Photo: Julie Anne Jimena Celzo Facebook

Philippines: Fish kills reported in Pangasinan and Negros Occidental; bangus prices fall
By John Ted Cordero, 25th May 2016;

Changes in weather pattern have caused fish kills in two municipalities of Pangasinan.

According to a report on News To Go on Wednesday, the fish kills occurred in the municipalities of Anda and Bolinao.

Fish trade in two barangays of Bolinao and Anda were affected by the said fish kill.

Thirty percent of bangus (Milkfish) (Chanos chanos) have died causing the prices to fall at P10 per kilo, the report said.

The municipal agriculturist explained that the fish kills were caused by changing weather.

He added the weather is very hot during morning but rain will fall suddenly in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, a fish kill was also reported in Binalbagan River in the municipality of Isabela, Negros Occidental.

According to the Municipal Agriculture Office of Isabela, various fishes like Tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) and haluan (Common Snakehead) (Channa striata) died after rainfall.

Authorities are looking into sulfur contamination as the cause of the fish kill, the report said.

Ashes and pyroclastic materials from Mt. Kanloan were possibly washed through Binalbagan River.

Authorities advised residents not to eat the dead fishes as these might poison them.

They also took mud and water samples from the river to find out the real cause of the fish kill.

Source: GMA News Online