LEGAZPI CITY – A dead Irrawaddy dolphin was found at the beach in Barangay Bonot, Calabanga town in Camarines Sur province on Tuesday.
In a statement on Thursday, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Bicol (BFAR-5) reported it was the first record of an Irrawaddy dolphin in Bicol.
"BFAR coordinated with the Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network (PMMSN) along with other core member institutions, and local government units in collecting the carcass for postmortem examination, identifying, validating the specie identification, and proper investigation of the case. The specie was confirmed by Dr. Lem Aragones, President of the PMMSN and Professor of Marine Mammal Science," said Nonie Enolva, BFAR-5 spokesperson.
Enolva said the mammal was reported dead by a local fisherman who admitted that the dolphin got entangled with his crab net.
"It was a female and had a total length of 1.8m long (sub-adult). The local government unit of Calabanga coordinated with BFAR Regional Office 5 for the proper carcass disposal," she said.
The carcass was brought to the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) for proper freezing. It will be used for the Medical Management of Stranded Marine Mammals: Clinicopathologic, Diagnostic Imaging, and Necropsy Training at the University of the Philippines Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology (UP IESM) on Sept. 5-6, 2022.
BFAR-5 Regional Director Nelson Bien has directed the transport of the carcass to the Marine Mammal Research & Stranding Laboratory of UP IESM through its freezer van.
"This is the third area where this specie has been found in the Philippines. The first two areas were Malampaya Sound in Palawan, and the waters of Iloilo-Guimaras and Negros Occidental. The stranding site (Calabanga) is located within the San Miguel Bay facing the Pacific side and is north of the Bicol River basin. This specie inhabits the coastal, estuaries, and rivers of the Bay of Bengal and Southeast Asia," Enolva said.
"Dr. Aragones and his team in collaboration with BFAR-5 are planning to conduct dolphin surveys in San Miguel Bay soon through the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-funded project PHL MarMams," she said.
The Irrawaddy dolphin is considered a critically endangered specie under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative Order 2014-15. (PNA)