Philippines: Virus strikes Bulacan pond, kills 101,383 Tilapia – report

By Jasper Y. Arcalas, 7th December 2017;

The lethal Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV) has arrived in the Philippines, killing 101,383 Tilapia (likely Nile Tilapia) (Oreochromis niloticus) in a lone Bulacan-based pond in June, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

In a notification submitted to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Agriculture Assistant Secretary for Livestock Enrico P. Garzon said TiLV killed 101,363 Tilapia out of the 300,000 susceptible population in a Bulacan-based pond, representing a 33.78-percent mortality rate.

Garzon added the outbreak was confirmed last June 29 and has already been resolved by the DA on September 15.

“An unexplained daily mortality of Tilapia fingerlings was observed in the nursery pond of a private farm after stocking on May 16, 2017. Elevated mortality after 15 days reached approximately 25 percent. Affected fish showed distended abdomen and bulging of the eyes,” he said in the notification dated November 23.

Garzon said on May 31, the DA collected samples from the affected farm and were submitted to the Fisheries Biotechnology Center (FBC) in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

“Semi-nested RT-PCR exhibited positive results using reported Tilapia Lake Virus [TiLV] primers. Other samples submitted to National Fisheries Laboratory- Fish Health of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources also showed positive results by insulated isothermal PCR [iiPCR],” he said.

The DA official added the laboratory results indicated that the “amplified 3 segment of the viral ENE [expression and nuclear retention element] has 94 to 95 percent nucleotide similarity to Israel TiLV strain.”

Garzon said the movement of fingerlings from the affected pond has been restricted and monitored. He added that the results of the last two samplings showed negative for TiLV.

On May 26 the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations warned countries of TiLV as it is considered a “lethal threat” to food security.

“The outbreak should be treated with concern and countries importing Tilapia should take appropriate risk-management measures—intensifying diagnostics testing, enforcing health certificates, deploying quarantine measures and developing contingency plans,” the FAO said.

“Tilapia-producing countries need to be vigilant, and should follow aquatic animal-health code protocols of the World Organisation for Animal Health when trading Tilapia. They should initiate an active surveillance program to determine the presence or absence of TiLV, the geographic extent of the infection and identify risk factors that may help contain it,” the FAO added.

The FAO said the TiLV poses no public health concern, but could decimate infected populations. The TiLV has been reported in at least five countries in three continents: Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Israel and Thailand, according to the FAO.

“Tilapia are the second most important aquaculture species in volume terms, providing food, jobs and domestic and export earnings for millions of people, including many smallholders,” it said.

“In 2015 world Tilapia production, from both aquaculture and capture, amounted to 6.4 million tons, with an estimated value of $9.8 billion, and worldwide trade was valued at $1.8 billion,” the FAO added.

Source: Business Mirror

Philippines: Virus strikes Bulacan pond, kills 101,383 Tilapia – report

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

Philippines: BFAR: No fish kill in Pangasinan

By Leonardo Micua, 7th October 2017;

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has denied the occurrence of a fish kill in Sual Bay here early this week, saying it was the result of overstocking of Milkfish (Chanos chanos) fingerlings by operators.

BFAR Region 1 (Ilocos) Director Nestor Domenden said Friday two operators overstocked their cages, each one measuring 85 square meters, with 85,000 fingerlings, although it can only accommodate 45,000.

There are estimated 750 fish cages in the Sual Bay area, Domenden said.

Up to 30 metric tons of fish reportedly died from this episode, which was the result of the thinning of dissolved oxygen needed by the fish in the water, the BFAR official said.

Fish kill is commonly caused by pollution or by other contaminants.

Domenden said when an operator overstocks his cage twice the allowable number, some of the fish would naturally die as they compete for the only available dissolved oxygen in the water.

It was fortunate that the affected operators were able to harvest half of their fish before the incident, he said.

Domenden called on the local government of Sual, Pangasinan to strictly monitor the operations of fish cages to avoid a repeat of overstocking of fingerlings.

He noted that Sual had a standing municipal ordinance recommending the proper stocking of fish cages, yet it was disregarded by the two affected operators.

According to a report, the fish cages of Sual, located in a mariculture area designated by BFAR, are owned by local and foreign corporations.

All of these have a combined production of some 300,000 metric tons of fish yearly, being sold in North and Central Luzon and Manila.

Sual Mayor Roberto Arcinue has confirmed the findings of BFAR that no fish kill happened in his town.

Source: Northbound Philippines News Online

Philippines: BFAR: No fish kill in Pangasinan

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

Photos: Bong De Castro Gutierrez

A rough-toothed dolphin also stranded in Palauig, Zambales last January 18, 2017. It was thin, weak, and had marks of shark bites. The local government units and agencies responded to the stranding but it died shortly after it was found.

Many thanks to the efforts of the staff and personnel of Provincial Fisheries Office of Zambales, Municipal Agriculture Office of Palauig, Mayor Billy Aceron, Cong. Cherryl Deloso-Manatalla, and Gov Amor Deloso.

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