Marine scientists are coming together to study the importance of the biodiversity of Burias Pass, home to some of the rarest species in the world.
Burias pass is located between the regions of Albay and Masbate provinces.
Dr Alessandro Ponzo, an Italian marine scientist and director of Large Marine Vertebrates Project in Philippines, said on Monday they are studying the biodiversity of the Burias Pass as this area is a very important biodiversity in the country.
Ponzo, along with Dr A A Yaptinchay, Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines director, flew to Legazpi to lead the postmortum inspection of a megamouth shark in Catandulan Point near Donsol, Sorsogon, after it got entangled in a net.
The remains of the rare shark was also inspected by Dr Florencio Adonay, Albay provincial veterinarian officer-in-charge, and Dr Evelyn Saberon of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
The Manta Bowl is found in the Burias Pass, known for its plankton-rich water and constant current – Such traits make the waters as an alley for other oceanic sea life like the whale shark, thresher shark, hammerhead shark and tiger shark.
The whale shark, dancing dolphins and mantra rays are sighted in the Burias Pass during the months of October to May.
“The Burias-Ticao Pass is considered a very productive fishing ground and home to a rich assemblage of some important apex species like sharks, rays, dolphins and whales but ironically is heavily exploited and an identified area of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing — not to mention the old practice of butchering and eating protected fish species by the local folk,” Dennis V del Socorro, BFAR Bicol regional director, said.
All of the scientist in attendance agreed that stricter enforcement of fishery laws needs to be implemented – including sea patrolling, monitoring and surveillance to curb the issues with illegal fishing in the waters of Bicol.