Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
Regional Office No. 5
San Agustin, Pili, Camarines Sur
Telefax: (054) 361-2326
BRYDE'S WHALE, WHALESHARK BEACHED IN SAN MIGUEL BAY
A female Bryde's Whale (Baleanoptera edeni)measuring 7.9 meters and weighing approximately 6 tons beached in Bonot, Calabanga, Camarines Sur on June 5, 2011 following its entrapment in a fish corral. Meanwhile a female whale shark (Rhincodon typus) measuring 4.4 meters and weighing 2.5 tons also beached in Calampinay, Sipocot, Camarines Sur allegedly entangled in a fishing net prior to its demise on June 2, 2011.
The Bryde's (pronounced "broodus") whale was the second of its species to have beached in the Bicol Region following its appearance in Barcelona, Sorsogon in 2007. The whale shark on the other hand was the second to have beached in San Miguel Bay. It was the 10th to get stranded in the Bicol region and the 4th to have died this year alone
There has been a clamor as to whale shark sightings within San Miguel Bay, thus, to hash-out issues the BFAR-5 thru its Fisheries Regional Emergency Stranding Response Team (BFAR5-FIRST) is planning to collaborate with the World Wide Fund for Nature, Inc. (WWF-Donsol) to conduct photo-identification, a non-invasive tagging initiative to validate the veracity of the reports of whale shark sightings especially in Malasugui Island in Mercedes, Camarines Norte and within the municipal waters of Cabusao, Calabanga and Sipocot in Camarines Sur where recent strandings have taken place.
Relatively, BFAR-5 Director Dennis V. del Socorro announced that a National Technical Conference on Whale Shark Protection and Conservation is tentatively set on August 2011. The Conference will be hosted by BFAR-5 primarily to discuss together with the concerned National Government Agencies the Administrative Order No. 282, "Intensifying the Protection of Whale Sharks in the Philippines" which was signed last year by then President Gloria M. Arroyo. The targeted output of the said conference is to come up with an implementation strategy of the said order, at the same time, formulate a plan on how it could be effectively implemented at the municipal levels.
BFAR-Bicol, through the leadership of Director del Socorro, actively responds to any whale shark, marine mammals such as whales and dolphins and manta ray stranding incidents in the Bicol Peninsula. He added that these endangered species are considered flagship marine species that need protection and conservation. A concerted effort with the Local Government Units, other allied agencies and private sector are vital in this endeavor.
By rescuing a stranded marine mammal, whale shark or manta ray, one had helped an animal in need and has also helped fellow Bicolanos realize how important it is to protect these animals and the environment they live in. These animals are protected by law as stipulated in the Philippine Fisheries Code (RA 8550), the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act (RA 9147), the Animal Welfare Act (RA 8485), Fisheries Administrative Order No. 193, Administrative Order No. 282, and other international laws being embraced by the Philippine Government.
If you find a stranded marine mammal, whale shark or manta ray, please contact BFAR5-FIRST through telephone numbers (054)361-2326/477-7365 or mobile hotline no. 09194970286. (n.enolva)