Photo: BIAG – Barangay Information & Activities Group

Philippines: Dead Sea Turtle found in La Union
By Carmela Jimenez, 3rd November 2016;

The carcass of an adult Olive Ridley Sea Turtle was found floating along the shore of Barangay Canaoay, San Fernando City in La Union Tuesday afternoon.

According to Rolando Cunanan, he was about to take a bath at the beach when he saw the Turtle.

Pagpunta ko doon, gumanon ‘yung alon, nakita ko pawikan. Nakita ko ulo, sabi ko, patay na ‘to kako,” he said.

(When I went there, I saw the turtle. When I saw its head, I knew it’s dead.)

The Turtle weighed between 35 to 45 kilograms. It also had a wound on its head.

The residents believe that the Turtle got entangled in fishing gear. They later buried the dead Turtle.

On October 31, a male Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris) was also washed up the shores in the same area. The residents tried to take it back to the water but it still died.

Based on the Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network Database collated and analyzed by the Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology (IESM) in the University of the Philippines Diliman, there were already 19 species of stranded cetaceans (Dolphins and Whales) recorded in Region 1.

Authorities told the public to handle marine mammals with caution. If in doubt, call authorities who have knowledge in rescuing stranded marine mammals.

Source: ABS-CBN News

The photo shared on the Barangay Information & Activities Group’s Facebook page, stated to be from Canaoay, shows that the one mentioned in the article is not an Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), but a Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata).

Workers of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources bring a dead Fraser’s Dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei) to its grave at the Fish Cemetery in Dagupan City.
Willie Lomibao

Philippines: Ilocos region top PH hot spot for sea mammal stranding
2015 was the worst year so far, with 112 trapped, according to marine biology expert
By Yolanda Sotelo, 11th October 2016;

At dawn on Oct. 6, a Melon-headed Whale (Peponocephala electra) died right after it was taken from intensive care in a facility in Alaminos City. Hours later, a weak Rough-toothed Dolphin (Steno bredanensis) (Actually a Spinner Dolphin) (Stenella longirostris) was found beached off Santo Domingo town in Ilocos Sur province.

The two incidents occurred on the first day of a national symposium on marine mammals here, as if to emphasize the need to enhance sea environment protection to shield these animals from harm.

The Ilocos region is a hot spot in marine mammal stranding, topping all regions in the last 11 years. A total of 692 stranding incidents have been recorded since 2005, most involving Spinner Dolphins (Stenella longirostris).

Worst year

Last year was the worst so far for animal stranding, with 112 marine mammals trapped or stranded, said Dr. Lemuel Aragones, president of the Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network (PMMSN).

There are several reasons marine mammals go to the beach. A 2010 study made by Aragones shows that sudden explosions from dynamite fishing give sea animals “acoustic trauma.”

Sea mammals, like Whales, navigate by sending out sound pulses to find prey and determine their surroundings. When they lose their hearing, they lose their way, Aragones said.

Some animals suffer injuries because of fishing activities. Dolphins have been tangled in fishing nets or gears. Biotoxins and human interaction are also cited as reasons for the stranding.

But the Philippines also has a high rate of live stranding, a reference to sea animals who survive their ordeal at the shore.

Records show 65 percent of beached marine mammals were alive. Of the 692 stranded sea mammals in 11 years, 418 lived. A total of 187 survivors were released back to the sea after receiving supportive care.

“Globally, two or three sea animals are dead when they get to shore,” Aragones said.

Dramatic decline

This year, stranding cases have slid down dramatically, with only 51 beached sea animals recorded as of Oct 6.

Thirteen of these animals were found or treated in the Ilocos region.

The PMMSN said it has a 27 percent success rate in the rehabilitation of stranded marine mammals. The group has no funding, Aragones said, and is dependent on member agencies to subsidize projects to save sea animals.

The group said all regions should have a speed boat that would serve as an animal ambulance that could carry 3-meter long Dolphins and Whales. The Ilocos region has such an ambulance, which can be filled with water and is equipped with a stretcher.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Photo: Apple Amor

“Matt”, the Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris) that stranded last October 6 in Santo Domingo, Ilocos Sur was transferred to the BFAR 1 field office in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur using their newly fabricated marine mammal ambulance. Rehab efforts are led by BFAR 1 and PVO of Ilocos Sur.

Source: Friends of PMMSN – Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network

A juvenile male Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris) stranded last October 6 in Santo Domingo, Ilocos Sur during the 4th National PMMSN Symposium in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. Some of the participants left the event to attend to the stranding. PMMSN 1, headed by BFAR 1, PAO, and PVO of Ilocos Sur are attending to the animal as of this post.

Source: Leo Jonathan Suarez Facebook, via Friends of PMMSN – Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network Facebook

It appears that earlier articles misidentified the stranded Dolphin as a Rough-toothed Dolphin (Steno bredanensis).

Philippines: Dolphin beached along Ilocos Sur coastline

By Yolanda Sotelo, 6th October 2016;

A Dolphin was found beached along the coastlines of Santo Domingo town in Ilocos Sur on Thursday (Oct.6).

Fishermen found the Rough-toothed Dolphin (Steno bredanensis) at 8 a.m. and carried it toward the delta that leads into the sea.

The Dolphin was very weak but did not bear any visible injuries, said Randy Reburon, fishery coordinator of Sto. Domingo town.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Based on this post by the Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network, it was actually a Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris).

Philippines: Dolphin beached along Ilocos Sur coastline

The Melon-headed Whale, shown here being treated at a Bureau of Aquatic and Fisheries Resources office facility in Alaminos City, Pangasinan province, died on Thursday.

Philippines: Whale won’t leave coast, dies while being treated
By Yolanda Sotelo, 7th October 2016;

A female Melon-headed Whale (Peponocephala electra) caught two weeks ago in Dasol, Pangasinan province, died on Thursday while undergoing treatment at a facility of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

Fishermen found the 2-meter long Whale beached along Dasol Bay on Sept. 23 and brought it back to the sea. But it was sighted again in the afternoon on the same day so village officials decided to bring it to the BFAR facility in Alaminos City.

Samantha Licudine, a BFAR veterinarian, said the Whale had many scratches in the body and had a deep cut near its snout.

“Maybe it was trying to escape from something so there was a laceration,” she said.

The Whale was given intensive medication and was under observation when it died.

“The Whale already had a good appetite and was interacting with BFAR employees, so we had high hopes it would survive,” Licudine said.

Hours after the Whale died, a Rough-toothed Dolphin (Steno bredanensis) was found beached at the coastlines of Sto. Domingo town in Ilocos Sur province. Fishermen carried it toward the delta that leads into the sea.

The Dolphin was very weak but did not bear any visible injuries, said Randy Reburon, fishery coordinator of Sto. Domingo.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Dolphin that stranded at Santo Domingo was actually a Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris).

Philippines: Pygmy Sperm Whale rescued in La Union
By William Jun Garcia, 3rd October 2016;

A 6.5-foot long baby Pygmy Sperm Whale (Kogia breviceps) was rescued over the weekend by the La Union Rescue Team, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the City Fisheries and Aquatic Management Council (CFARMC) from coastal area in Carlatan Village in his city.

The Whale, which weighed 1,000 kilograms, had swum toward the shore and was discovered by a local fisherman who lives nearby.

According to Dr. Chris Apilado, a CFARMC veterinarian, the Whale bore two deep cuts, one near an eye and the other on the tail.

“Maybe it was caught and was being fished out from the water by handy fishing hook but it was able to wiggle out,” Apilado said, who closely examined the injuries while the Whale was still floating in the water.

Vanessa Bonitalla said her fisherman husband, Ding Carpio, saw the mammal at about 4 a.m., Friday, as soon as he woke up.

They rushed to the sea and were surprised to see an injured “Dolphin” and tried to push it farther into the sea but it could not move, so they called for help from village guards.

Sally Gacayan, a BFAR staff, said the Pygmy Sperm Whale would be brought to the BFAR custodial quarters in Casantaan village in Santo Tomas, La Union.

Gacayan said they would try to keep the mammal alive by first treating its wounds until it is strong enough to be released into the sea.

A vehicle from the La Union Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council transported the injured Whale, which was placed in a rubber boat filled with sea water.

The Pygmy Sperm Whale is one of the several aquatic species that is endangered.

It was the second stranded whale found in the coastal area.

In October 2014, a 12-ton, 20-foot long giant Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) died while it was being rescued by a backhoe and burly men at the nearby village of Lingsat Marine Sanctuary.

It was eventually buried in the village.

Source: The Manila Times