Photo: Dr. Jeneveve Sulliva, via Friends of PMMSN – Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network Facebook

Philippines: Beached Pilot Whale rescued in Ilocos Norte
6th December 2017;

Authorities rescued a female Pilot Whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) found beached in Currimao, Ilocos Norte.

At about 6:00 a.m., coastal residents in Salugan village tried to get near the stranded marine mammal but due to strong winds, it was drifted to the sandy shores of Barangay Victoria, in front of the Sitio Remedios Resort in Currimao town.

The locals reported the incident to concerned authorities, responders for endangered marine mammals in the province immediately proceeded to the area to rescue the stranded whale.

One of the responders, Provincial Fisheries and Regulatory Officer Arthur Valente, said in an interview that the endangered marine animal is now recovering. “She can now float while supportive care is being administered,” he said of the Whale.

Valente added that the responders are still doing their best to stabilize the stranded marine animal before they can release it back to the open sea.

Representatives from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, local government units, village officials, Philippine Maritime, fisherfolk community and the Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network based in the province are jointly conducting monitoring of the stranded Whale.

Based on initial assessment, Valente said the Pilot Whale appeared to be stressed and had bruises around the face.

Over the years, Ilocos Norte has been considered as one of the hot spots for stranded marine mammals, with a number of them successfully rehabilitated and released.

Source: PageOne.ph

Photos: Dr. Jeneveve Sulliva

A 3.85 m adult female Short-finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) stranded in Gaang Bay, Currimao, Ilocos Norte this morning. The animal was released but restranded. PMMSN 1 lead by BFAR 1, LGU-Currimao, PVO and OPAG of Ilocos Norte, Brgy. VIctoria officials and fisherfolks are attending to the animal.

Source: Friends of PMMSN – Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network Facebook

Update, 6th December 2017 16:43

We regret to inform everyone that this Pilot Whale died early this morning. Necropsy is currently being conducted by Dr. Jeneveve Suliva and her team from the PVO of Ilocos Norte.

Source: Friends of PMMSN – Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network Facebook

Photo: Dhanjorvan Rasay

A male female Pilot Whale stranded in Brgy Victoria, Currimao, Ilocos Norte this morning. It is now being inspected by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. Picture and report by Dhanjorvan Rasay.

Source: Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

A Dolphin that washed ashore in Ilocos Norte died on Monday

Philippines: Dolphin with shark bites dies in Ilocos Norte
By Dennis Agcaoili, 7th November 2016;

A Dolphin that washed ashore in Barangay San Lorenzo, Bangui, Ilocos Norte died on Monday.

The Risso’s Dolphin (Grampus griseus), measuring 2.6 meters in length and weighing 150 kg, was found to have injuries on its body last Saturday.

Provincial regulatory fishery officer Arthur Valente said the Dolphin’s body showed evidence of shark bites and cuts caused by rocks.

Authorities were closely monitoring the Dolphin’s condition because it displayed no signs of buoyancy and was very weak.

The Dolphin was supposed to be released as soon as it reached a stable condition. It died Monday morning.

Source: ABS-CBN News

Another dolphin, a young Rough-toothed Dolphin (Steno bredanensis) also stranded in Brgy Saud, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. The animal was deemed releasable by PMMSN Ilocos Norte but it was transferred to Brgy Baloi where the water is calmer by the team composed of PAO, PVO, MAO (Pagudpud), PNP, and the fisherfolks of both barangays. The coast is being monitored in case the Dolphin re-strands.

Image by: Dr. Jeneveve Suliva

Source: Friends of PMMSN – Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network Facebook

Philippines: No end yet to stranding of dolphins

By Yolanda Sotelo, 11th March 2015;

On Feb. 13 last year, a juvenile Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris), was found on the beach of Badoc town in Ilocos Norte. It had burns and was in need of immediate medical treatment and rehabilitation.

The female dolphin, named “Valentina” because she was found on the eve of Valentine’s Day, has since regained her health, but her hearing was impaired due to acoustic trauma caused by blast fishing.

Dr. Lemuel Aragones, president of the Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network (PMMSN), advised Valentina’s caretakers at a marine park in Zambales against returning her to the wild. When sea mammals lose their hearing, they also lose their capacity to navigate in the ocean and their abilities to find food and to socialize, he said.

“Julius,” a Fraser’s Dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei), however, was not as lucky. He was one of 33 Fraser’s or Sarawak Dolphins that beached in the shores of the Lingayen Gulf from Pangasinan to La Union provinces from Jan. 26 to Feb. 5.

Julius was found on the Lingayen beach on Jan. 27 and was taken to Ocean Adventure Marine Park at Subic Freeport in Zambales for medical treatment. He died on Feb. 17.

According to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), 22 of the dolphins had died while eight were released back to the sea. Two were seen alive in the Lingayen Gulf, while Julius died while undergoing treatment.

It looks like there’s no end yet to marine mammal stranding in the gulf.

On Feb. 20, “April,” a Rough-toothed Dolphin (Steno bredanensis), was rescued by the PMMSN and local government workers in Sinait, Ilocos Sur province. It was later transferred to a fishpond to allow better rehabilitation.

Unabated blast fishing

In a letter to Nestor Domenden, BFAR Ilocos regional director, Aragones said that while treating the stressed and sick April, he and two other responders heard dynamite blasts in the sea.

“This happened after I interviewed a few locals who admitted that dynamite fishing is still being practiced in their area,” Aragones, a professor at the University of the Philippines’ Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology, said.

The Ilocos region has had the highest rate of marine mammal stranding in the country in the past five years, most probably because of unabated blast fishing, he said in a telephone interview. He said the dolphin beaching in La Union (two towns) and Pangasinan (nine towns) this year may have been caused by blast fishing.

“When blasting occurs even far from where they are located, sea mammals lose their balance, fall on their side and their noses get clogged and they cannot breathe. This is much like humans, when we sleep on our side and when our noses get clogged so we can’t breathe,” Aragones said.

He said marine mammal stranding and deaths were just the “visible” manifestations of how blast fishing was killing marine animals.

Bigger problems

“There are deeper and bigger problems [due to the impact] of blasting, such as destruction of corals and killing of all kinds of fish, including the larvae or eggs. But these are not given much attention. Since people react passionately when sea mammals are killed, we are using [cases of] marine mammal stranding to call attention to illegal fishing’s serious effects on marine life,” he said.

After the beaching of the 33 Fraser’s Dolphins in January, the BFAR sent investigation teams to the different coastal towns along the Lingayen Gulf.

Their findings confirmed rampant blast fishing in the gulf facing the West Philippine Sea, said Dr. Samantha Licudine, a veterinarian of the BFAR regional office.

Marine mammals are attracted to the Lingayen Gulf when “acetes” (baby shrimps) are plenty, like when a pod of Fraser’s Dolphins was first seen in the waters off Aringay and Agoo towns in La Union on Jan. 26, said Belmor Bugawan, acting head of the fishery resources management division of the BFAR in the Ilocos.

Manuel Ugaban, Aringay municipal agriculture officer, said the dolphins that beached in Barangay (village) Alaska, where blast fishing was once rampant, had wounds that could have been caused by spears or shrapnel from homemade explosives.

“Maybe they got tangled in some nets, or some unscrupulous fishermen pierced them with sharp objects, so they swam to the shore,” he said.

Alaska residents no longer hurt marine mammals, believing that the sea was claiming large sections of their village whenever there is storm surge due to their illegal deeds in the past, Ugaban said.

“Residents now refuse to eat meat of sea mammals,” he said. “Nobody would even buy dolphin meat in the market.”

Aragones said the PMMSN would help the BFAR, local governments and fishing communities in the Ilocos stop or reduce incidents of blast fishing to ensure a healthy coastal and marine environment in the region.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Philippines: No end yet to stranding of dolphins

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