The dead Turtle that was found by divers in Moalboal.
Photo: Kalle Epp Facebook

Philippines: Moalboal mayor offers P50K reward to find Turtle’s killer
By Morexette B. Erram, 1st December 2017;

Mayor Inocentes Cabaron will give a P50,000 cash reward to those who can provide information leading to the identification and arrest of person/s responsible for the killing of a Green Sea Turtle (pawikan) (Chelonia mydas) in Moalboal town, southwest Cebu last Wednesday.

“We are offering P50,000 to any person who could give information leading to the identification and arrest of the person or people concerned,” Cabaron said in a text message yesterday.

In a follow-up phone interview, the mayor said, this is the second time a Green Turtle was killed intentionally. The first one, he said, happened in 2006 or 2007 wherein a person smashed the head of the creature with a bottle.

“Our constituents were outraged. And we (from the local government) felt the same. This is why we are offering a P50,000 cash reward because killing the Green Sea Turtle is a blow to our tourism industry,” he stated.

Data from the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) revealed that there are at least four sanctuaries in the waters of Moalboal town that became world-famous diving spots.

Initial reports from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Visayas (DENR–7) and the Tourist Police of Moalboal showed that the reptile was found by divers floating dead with a wound believed hit by a spear gun in Sampaguita Reef off the coast of Barangay Basdiot, Moalboal.

DENR–7 information officer Charmi Regudo told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview that the agency’s Tañon Strait Protected Seascape task force is still verifying the cause of its death.

She also said that they are still conducting investigation on the matter.

Regudo said that according to the tourist police unit, the Turtle would have been dead for around three to four days before it was found by divers.

“The dead Turtle was already turned over to the Bantay Dagat on Thursday,” said Regudo.

Spear gun fishing is banned in marine sanctuaries in Moalboal, located more than 88 kilometers southwest of Cebu City.

The photo of the dead Green Turtle posted on Kalle Epp Facebook page last Wednesday, went viral and generated more than 7,300 reactions from netizens and shared across the platform at least 3,230 times.

“We have found a dead Turtle this morning at the coral reef near Sampaguita, not far from our dive shop. By all means it looks like it has a spear gun wound in the neck. We are outraged!” the photo caption reads.

Meanwhile, Penro also offered to help trace the killer of the Green Turtle.

Rommel Kirit, Penro senior environment manager, said they were now coordinating with the local officials, law enforcers, fisherfolks’ organization, and owners of diving shops to obtain information about the incident.

“While DENR–7 is probing the matter, we will help by tracing the hunter,” said Kirit.

Kirit said that the Bantay Dagat in Moalboal buried the Turtle yesterday morning since it was already in a state of decomposition.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Children look at the dead Dolphin found Tuesday morning off the shores of Dimasalang town in Masbate province.
Photo: PNP Dimasalang Masbate Facebook

Philippines: Dead Dolphin found floating off Masbate
By Suzene Cajegas, 3rd May 2017;

A lifeless Dolphin, locally called “lumba-lumba”, was found floating on sea near the shores of Dimasalang town in Masbate province early Tuesday, a police report said Wednesday.

The Dimasalang police received a call around 5:30 a.m. from an employee of the town’s local government unit regarding the two-meter long dead Dolphin that was found in Barangay (village) Canomay by Junal Alvarez, a resident in the village.

Municipal agriculturist Irish Cabrera and police recovered the dead Dolphin to collect information on its age, sex and variety of the species. The town officers have already coordinated with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Masbate to submit information on the recovery of the Dolphin.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

This Dolphin has apparently been identified as a Pygmy Killer Whale (Feresa attenuata).

Photos: Jude Cyril Roque Viernes Facebook

Philippines: Another Oarfish found on Cagayan de Oro shore
19th February 2017;

An Oarfish (Regalecus sp.) was found along the shore of Barangay (village) Gusa in Cagayan de Oro on Saturday afternoon.

In a Facebook post, Jude Cyril Roque Viernes said the scale-less and silvery fish was about 15 meters long (Based on the photos, 15 feet is more likely; 15 metres would be a record holder). It was found alive but later died.

Oarfish was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest bony fish to be recorded in 2015. Mature Oarfish have an average length of 6 meters.

The fish got its name because its long pectoral fins resemble oars. It is also called the King of Herrings because of their resemblance to the smaller Herrings and fishes.

An Oarfish was also washed ashore in Agusan del Norte last week days before a 6.7-magnitude quake hit Surigao City.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Photo: Coast Guard Public Affairs Office

Philippines: Dead Sperm Bryde’s Whale found in Guimaras
By Frances Mangosing, 25th January 2017;

A decaying body of a Bryde’s Whale (Balaenoptera edeni) was found in the shorelines of Brgy. Sawang, Buenavista in Guimaras on Wednesday.

The cause of death remained unknown.

The Whale was retrieved by the joint personnel of Coast Guard Buenavista and the Guimaras Environment and Natural Resources, the Philippine Coast Guard said in a statement.

The dead Whale was spotted 700 meters from the shoreline by Rex Camarista at about 3 a.m. It was later towed to McArthur’s Wharf.

Known in Filipino as “balyena,” the endangered Whale measures 4.5 meters in length and has an estimated weight of 500 kilos.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

The carcass is clearly not that of a Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus); it’s a small Rorqual (Balaenoptera sp.), with the prnounced ridges on the head suggesting that it’s a Bryde’s Whale.

The taxonomy of the Bryde’s Whale is still far from settled; what we call the Bryde’s Whale has been split into two subspecies or even distinct species by some authorities: the true Bryde’s Whale, a larger species found in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide (Balaenoptera brydei), and the Eden’s Whale, a smaller form that may be restricted to coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific (Balaenoptera edeni). Both species(?) have been recorded from tropical waters of Southeast Asia.

Fish cage operators in Lake Buhi in Camarines Sur province harvest Tilapia that survived the latest fish kill in the lake that forced the fish cage owners to sell their produce for as low as P5 per kg.
Photo: Nonie Evolva

Philippines: Lake Buhi fish kill brings P178M in loss
By Juan Escandor Jr., 20th October 2016;

The amount of losses from a fish kill that struck Lake Buhi in Camarines Sur province after Typhoon “Karen” slammed into the Bicol region has reached P178 million, reports from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said.

More than 50 km from this city, the 1,600-hectare Lake Buhi in Buhi town is the biggest inland body of water in Bicol where Tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) fish culture has been extensive since the 1980s. It is also the home of Sinarapan (Mistichthys luzonensis), a goby species considered to be the smallest commercial fish in the world.

Nonie Enolva, BFAR spokesperson, said the agency’s “conservative estimate” showed that each fish cage operator lost at least P1 million as a result of the fish kill.

Enolva said the fish kill, which started on Oct. 15, happened because of “compromised dissolved oxygen level,” when lake water was disturbed and its level increased due to strong wind and heavy rain whipped up by the typhoon.

Fish stress

“[Lake condition] caused extreme stress to cultured fish,” she said.

Beethoven Nachor, Buhi municipal administrator, said a local government team would assess the environmental impact of the fish kill, account for the number of families affected and prepare a mitigation plan.

Nachor said the team would conduct a cleanup drive since some fish cage operators either left Tilapia rotting in cages or dumped them in the lake.

He said 16 percent of Lake Buhi had been occupied by fish cages, which is 6 percent more than the size allowed for aquaculture development.

History of losses

Nachor said the price of Tilapia has gone down to as low as P5 per kg from a high of P120 per kg after the fish kill.

In 2011, Lake Buhi was also hit by a massive fish kill, with losses estimated to reach P80 million.

Dennis del Socorro, BFAR Bicol regional director, asked the Buhi government to enforce a local law that sets the size of the lake to be devoted to aquaculture to just 10 percent to prevent another fish kill.

Del Socorro also recommended the suspension of re-stocking of cages until the BFAR declares lake water to be favorable for fish culture again.

He said the local government must inventory fish cage operators and set limits on the number of cages they operate.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

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).

An 80-kilogram dead male Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) being examined by personnel of the local non-profit organization Wildlife in Need Foundation. The animal’s carcass washed up near the shoreline of a beach area inside the Subic Bay Freeport on Thursday (August 18).
Photo: Allan Macatuno

Philippines: Dead Sea Turtle washes up at Subic Bay
By Allan Macatuno, 18th August 2016;

A dead male Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) washed up on a beach area inside this free port here on Thursday.

The Sea Turtle (pawikan), about 80 kilograms, was found floating near the shoreline of All Hands Beach at 2 a.m., said Marife Castillo, chief of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office in Olongapo City.

Castillo said they have yet to determine how the animal died. “I’ve requested for a necropsy… since a large dead talakitok (Cavalla) (Trevally) (F. Carangidae) was also was found floating in the same area,” Castillo said.

This was the first time a Green Sea Turtle was seen in Subic Bay area, a known nesting site for other pawikan species, such as Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Castillo said.

The animal’s carcass was brought to the center of the local non-profit organization Wildlife in Need Foundation for initial examination.

The animal was later transferred to Ocean Adventure theme park for further study.

Dr. Leo Suarez, veterinarian at Ocean Adventure, said the animal could have been dead for the last 10 hours before it was discovered.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

A worker carries a Dolphin’s carcass for burial at the fish cemetery inside the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources compound in Dagupan City.
Photo: Willie Lomibao

Philippines: Trapped Dolphin dies, gets buried in Dagupan
By Gabriel Cardinoza, 2016;

A dead Bottlenose Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris) was spared from being cut up to pieces and taken to a fish cemetery here instead.

The Dolphin died on Tuesday after it got caught in a fisherman’s net in the Lingayen Gulf.

The Dolphin, a female, was still alive but weak when a fisherman found it trapped in his net around 8:30 p.m., according to Bonuan Gueset village chair Ricardo Mejia.

The Dolphin was carried to shore where it died hours later.

Mejia said he took custody of the Dolphin when he learned that villagers want to butcher it. Butchering endangered animals is against the law.

Mejia said he turned over the dead Dolphin to the National Integrated Fisheries Technology Development Center (NIFTDC) here, where it was buried in the fish cemetery.

Westly Rosario, NIFTDC chief, said the Dolphin had no signs of external injuries. But its snout was bleeding, an indication of internal injuries caused by blast fishing, Rosario said.

Earlier this month, Consuelo Perez, former Board of Investments governor, complained of unabated blast fishing in the Lingayen Gulf, which, she said, could be heard from her house in nearby San Fabian town.

This was the first reported Dolphin beaching here this year.

In January last year, at least 17 injured Bottlenose Fraser’s Dolphins (Lagenodelphis hosei) were found beached in the coastal areas of the Lingayen Gulf from Alaminos City in Pangasinan to Aringay town in La Union.

Rosario said Dolphins come to the Lingayen Gulf to look for flowing water whenever they are ill. He said the West Philippine Sea is a natural marine migration path and Dolphins usually swim by the gulf in search for food.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

If the photo shows the Dolphin involved in this incident, and isn’t that of a different Dolphin, then it’s likely to be a Spinner Dolphin instead of a Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops sp.). Similarly, photos indicate that the mass stranding of Dolphins in 2015 involved Fraser’s Dolphins, not Bottlenose Dolphins.

Photos: Christine Mangubat Facebook

Philippines: ’Kagwang’ mistaken for ’aswang’; Facebook user bashed
By Gianna Francesca Catolico, 27th June 2016;

Facebook users became indignant upon seeing a post showing an “aswang,” when in fact the creature was none other than the Philippine Flying Lemur, locally called “kagwang”. The kagwang was seen held by an unknown man, and no one knows what happened to the Flying Lemur, which may be endangered.

Facebook user Christine Mangubat claimed that the Flying Lemur devoured other creatures in the area. However, kagwang is a folivore that feeds on fruits, flowers and leaves.

The controversial post was liked 5,800 times, shared 6, 510 times, and commented on by 4,515 users as of this writing. Many users bashed Mangubat for her “ignorance” and admonished her to do some “research and study.” Others chastised her for “using Facebook but not using Google.”

Kagwang, whose name is derived from a Visayan expression of anger, is labeled by environmental organizations as an “endangered species.” It is found in the Mindanao Faunal Region and in the Eastern Visayan provinces of Bohol, Leyte and Samar. Although the kagwang does not fly and is not classified as a Lemur, it is an “expert” at gliding on trees because of its membrane.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer