Staff of Jagna Municipal Agriculture Office and the Jagna Police Station responded to the reported incident of a Dolphin which was found dead at the sea shore in barangay Pangdan in Jagna town, Bohol.
Photo: Jagna Police Station

Philippines: Dead Dolphin found on shore of Bohol town
By Leo Udtohan, 22nd January 2016;

Residents of a coastal village in Jagna town, Bohol found a dead juvenile Dolphin that was washed ashore.

Justiniana Ayuban-Ocmeja, a staff of Municipal Agriculture Office in Jagna, said they found a three-inch wound near the dorsal fin of the Bottlenose Dolphin on Friday morning.

But she added a necropsy would be conducted at the Marine Education Center in Barangay Paseo del Mar to determine the cause of death.

The Dolphin, which weighed 50 kilos and was 2.2 meters long, was first spotted floating a few meters from the shore of Barangay Pangdan in Jagna about 6 a.m. on Friday.

Three hours later, the Dolphin was washed ashore, already dead.

Residents immediately contacted the Jagna police station and the MAO.

Donna Galagala of MAO said Dolphin were often spotted at Jagna seas since the area is known as nesting place of Dolphins and playing calves.

“We have lots of Dolphins here so boatmen are advised to be extra careful so as not to hit the creatures with their boat propellers,” she said.

Jagna town is known for its resorts, beaches and tourist attractions. Fishing is also a livelihood for many coastal villages.

According to Physalus, a non-profit organization founded in Italy and is operating a Marine Education Center in Jagna town, the province is home to 18 out of the 26 species of marine mammals in the Philippines, the highest biodiversity of cetaceans in Asia.

In order to protect the marine animals, a Dolphin Festival was held in 2012.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Based on the colour patterns, this is certainly a Fraser’s Dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei).

Philippines: Dead dolphin washed ashore in Jagna
By Angeline Valencia, 22nd January 2016;

A 2.2-meter dead Dolphin was found washed ashore in Barangay Pangdan, Jagna at around 9:30 a.m. on Friday (January 22).

Jagna Police Chief Insp. Almirante Bacayo immediately proceeded to the coastal barangay, together with PO1 Adolfo Madera Jr. and non-uniform personnel (NUP) Betsy Aceron upon receiving the report from concerned citizens in the area.

Bacayo coordinated with Roderick Virtudazo, fish technician of the local office of the Department of Agriculture, and Ronie Jamisola of the Municipal Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (MFARMC).

It was determined that the dead Dolphin is a Bottlenose Dolphin kind with the scientific name Delphinus delphis. (No it isn’t)

The responding officers measured its length at 2.2 meters and width at 37 centimeters.

It was also noted that the dead Dolphin had a wound near the dorsal fin with a dimension of three inches, which police believe was what caused the Dolphin’s death. The Dolphin was already dead when washed ashore.

According to the municipal chief of police, they will turn over the dead Dolphin to the Department of Agriculture, and will be buried later.

In November 2014, a wounded Bottlenose Dolphin was also found in Dauis.

The 2.5-meter Dolphin with girth of one meter was found by fishermen when washed ashore sitio Bagong Silang in Barangay Mayacabac, Dauis.

Bureau Of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) personnel believed the Dolphin was swiped by a motorized banca and tossed to the shallow portion of the seawaters.

It was returned to sea about 10 hours later.

Source: CNN Philippines

Based on the colour patterns, this is certainly a Fraser’s Dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei). And the circular mark appears to have been made by a Cookiecutter Shark (Isistius brasiliensis), which usually aren’t fatal.

A meter-long Fraser’s Dolphin stranded dead in Barangay Cabanbanan, Oton, Iloilo early yesterday.

Source: Matt Trio Facebook, via Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

January 9 saw our first dolphin death in the Davao Gulf. A 4-foot baby Fraser’s Dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei). The teeth have not even ruptured from the gums. Caught in a fisherman’s net, then a blow to head to “calm it”, tossed back in the ocean. We responded to the stranding. Education is key. Fishermen feared it to be a Shark. Shark or Dolphin, both deserve to live.

Source: D’ Bone Collector Museum Facebook

Philippines: Collateral Damage
By Darrell Blatchley, 11th April 2015;

Collateral damage is damage to things that are incidental to the intended target. It is frequently used as a military term where non-combatants are accidentally or unintentionally killed or wounded and/or non-combatant property damaged as a result of the attack.

As fish become scarcer in the Davao Gulf, it has pushed some fishermen to look at short term gain with long term losses for the Philippines coast and coral reefs. Something that will not just be seen now, but will have dire consequences for our grandkids.

Dynamite fishing, though banned throughout the Philippines, is being used to harvest what little fish is left. When the dynamite explodes, it sends a shockwave through the water, killing and stunning all around. It kills the coral reef that is home to the little fish that are left. As the coral reefs die the strength of the coastline erodes, causing beaches and mangrove swamps to wash out, causing widespread flooding and loss of homes. All for a few more pesos.

Last Saturday afternoon, D’ Bone Collector Museum Inc. received phone calls and text messages from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, informing us of the dead dolphin in Barangay Manisig, Mabini, Pantukan and if we were interested in recovering it as it did not fall under the DENR’s coverage but is a protected animal under BFAR.

We arrived and found it to be a male Fraser’s Dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei). It appeared to be normal and healthy other than the fact that it was dead. The eyes were bleeding which is a sign of trauma. The locals had reported it to be swimming irregularly and kept washing up on the beach despite several attempts to release it.

After coordinating with the LGU, the dolphin was brought to Davao City for necropsy. No physical signs showed fishing net entanglement. Not the food inside the stomach, either. There were huge amounts of parasite eggs in the blubber and skin. The eardrums had ruptured and were bleeding, there were parasites here as well.

Unlike humans, whales and dolphins use their ears, not their eyes, to find their food. It is called echolocation. They send out sounds that bounce back, telling not only where the fishes are, but the obstacles underwater as well. Dynamite fishing ruptures their eardrums and causes a drop in their immune system. This allows the parasites to wreak havoc on the dolphins’ internal organs. Eating it from the inside out. As the dolphin becomes weaker, it seeks a safe calm place to shelter away from predators and deep water. That is why they strand. Upon washing up on the beach, death may come in minutes or in hours. Heat from the sun beating down on its dark skin causes blistering and fever, finally cooking them to death on the beach. If it doesn’t die from the heat, it will drown as the waves toss it back and forth in the current.

Death comes to everything eventually. But in the Davao Gulf in the last week, two whales have died (a pregnant Pygmy Sperm Whale) (Kogia breviceps) and now this Fraser’s Dolphin. All three have died due to man. You, me, us. If things don’t change, what will be left?

This year, the Davao Gulf will be closed to commercial fishing in June, July and August. Why? Because there is really no fish left to catch. Drastic times require drastic measures. If we don’t stop depleting the natural resources around us, our children will grow up on a bare rock jutting out from the ocean.

Adios, Patria adorada, region del sol querida,
Perla del Mar de Oriente, nuestro perdido Eden

(Farewell, my adored Land, region of the sun caressed,
Pearl of the Orient Sea, our Eden lost!)

Source: Mindanao Times

Dead Fraser’s Dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei). This makes 3 dead cetaceans in the Davao Gulf in the last 2 weeks, all by humans. This one had “blast” injuries, suffered from a lack of food, and carried an extremely high parasite load.

Source: D’ Bone Collector Museum Facebook

A dead Fraser’s Dolphin was found floating at the Mabini Protected Seascape, Mabini, Compostela Valley in Davao Gulf last Saturday morning.

Source: Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines 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

Ongoing… examination of a dead Fraser’s Dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei) calf that stranded in Dauin, Negros Oriental.

Source: Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

Photo by Martin Alayban

A total of 26 dolphins stranded in 13 different barangay/towns in La Union and Pangasinan on January 26 and 27. 13 were immediately released, 12 died, and 1 is currently being rehabilitated by PMMSN headed by BFAR 1.

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