Philippines: Whales and dolphins have own cemetery too

By Frank Peñones Jr., 25th October 2016;

Whales and Dolphins here are assigned their own graveyard too.

Dead sea mammals, which are collectively called cetaceans, have been allotted a burial place at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Freshwater Fisheries Center (RFFC) in Barangay Fabrica in Bula, Camarines Sur.

“We have so far a dozen cases of dead Whales and Dolphins found or stranded in the beaches of Bicol, so we thought of burying them properly, and that’s how the Cetacean Cemetery came to be,” Noni Enolva, spokesperson for BFAR, in Bicol said.

She added that a Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima) found in Ragay in April 2014 was the first cetacean to have been buried in the cemetery; while the latest were two Spinner Dolphins (Stenella longirostris) found in Tinambac town in July this year.

Cetaceans are a widely distributed family of finned and carnivorous aquatic mammals, which include Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises.

Enolva said that when these dead mammals are found, they are brought to the RFFC for necropsy to determine the probable cause of their death by members of the Fisheries Regional Emergency Stranding Responding Team.

Some causes of death include ingestion of plastic and other solid wastes and acoustic trauma, a sensory hearing loss caused by dynamite explosions or seafloor drilling.

“They become deaf due to these explosions and eventually lose their equilibrium, so they drown. A deaf whale is a dead whale,” Enolva said.

Source: The Manila Times

Philippines: Whales and dolphins have own cemetery too

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

Philippines: Dagupan illegal fishpens exist—mayor

ByJaime G. Aquino, 26th August 2016;

Dagupan City Mayor Belen Fernandez admitted the existence of illegal fish pens in some villages but belied the claim of some fishpen operators that fish kills are rampant in the area.

Fernandez clarified that the number has been reduced to less than 100 after she ordered the demolition of 508 illegal fish pens covering an estimated 7.8 hectares from July 2013 up to the present.

City Agriculturist Emma Molina told The Manila Times that illegal fish pens had been rampant in Dagupan before Fernandez’ term and caused pollution.

Molina said the removal of the fish pens has prevented at least 1.5 million bags of feeds and residuals from polluting the city’s rivers.

She added that Dagupan City has not experienced Milkfish (bangus) (Chanos chanos) kills since 2014.

The city, however, had dealt with lapu-lapu (Grouper) (SubF. Epinephelinae) and malaga (Rabbitfish) (Siganus sp.) fish kills because of silted water during rainy season.

City Agriculture Office records showed the last known bangus fishkill in Dagupan City happened in 2006.

The city government has enlisted experts for clear rivers of pollutants.

Fernandez and Molina said illegal fishpen operations exist in the rivers spanning the villages of Pugaro, Carael, Calmay, Bonuan and Lucao.

Fernandez said she recently met with fish pen owners, who assured her that they will dismantle their structures after harvesting the fishes.

She added that she told them that she will order the dismantling of the fish pens if they fail to deliver on their promise.

A group of fishpond owners and fisherfolk have decried operations of illegal fish pen and fish cages that cause river pollution and siltation resulting in “massive” fish kills.

Alfredo Dawana, chairman of the Fishpond Owners Operators and Fisherfolk Association of Dagupan City Inc. said that as of August 20 this year, lapu-lapu and malaga fishes cultured in their fishponds estimated at more than P30 million were lost to polluted water.

Meanwhile, Molina dismissed as absurd the claim of some fishpond operators that up to P30-million worth of fish died because of polluted rivers.

She said if this were true, it would have been akin to a biblical event where dead fishes are seen floating all over.

Source: The Manila Times

Philippines: Dagupan illegal fishpens exist—mayor

Philippines: Polluted river causes Dagupan fish kills

By Jaime G. Aquino, 20th August 2016;

A group of fishpond owners and fisherfolk here decried the operation of illegal fishpen and fishcages that cause river pollution and siltation resulting in massive fish kills.

Alfredo Dawana, chairman of the Fishpond Owners Operators and Fisherfolk Association of Dagupan City, Inc. (FOOFADCI) said that as of August 20 this year, Lapu-lapu (Grouper) (SubF. Epinephelinae) and Malaga (Rabbitfish) (Siganus sp.) fishes cultured in their fishponds estimated at more than P30million were lost to the polluted water.

The group blamed the fish kill to illegal fish cages and fishpens on the river traversing the villages of Bonuan, Pugaro, Salapingao, Carael and Calmay.

“The fishkills in our ponds will not happen if the water in our river is not silted and polluted because of illegal fishcages and fishpens,” Dawana said.

He explained that the primary cause of the pollution and siltation is the waste from Milkfish (Chanos chanos) and feeds used by the illegal fishpen operators.

Dawana said 40 percent of feeds poured on the fishpens and fish cages are wasted and only 60 percent are consumed by the milkfish, according to a study of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). The wasted feeds then create pollution and siltation.

He said more than 300 fishpens and 200 fishcages occupy the river.

Eduardo Maramba, FOOFADCI president, said the BFAR regional office has ordered the city government to conduct an investigation on the reported illegal operations of fishpen owners but no inquiry was held because majority of the operators and owners are politicians and wealthy businessmen in the province.

The group also sent several letters to the city government in 2010 and 2014 recommending the demolition and removal of the illegal fishpens and fishcages but no action was also taken.

Maramba said their group will submit resolutions to Environment Secretary Gina Lopez and Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol for investigation and demolition of the illegal river structures.

The group cited Lopez’s order on the ongoing clearing operation and removal of fishcages and fishpens on Laguna de Bay saying that if the secretary can do that in Laguna, she can do it also in Dagupan City.

They said small time producers like their group will benefit from the demolition of illegal fishpens because all of their ponds are connected to the river.

Source: The Manila Times

Philippines: Polluted river causes Dagupan fish kills