Two whales – one emaciated, the other entangled – wash ashore off Bicol

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whales
The short-finned pilot whale (Globicepahala macrorhynchus) that was found dead in the shores of Batuan, Masbate, had wounds on its body, possibly caused by abandoned fishing equipment. Photograph courtesy of BFAR.

Two whales of different species have been found washed up off Bicol — one severally emaciated and the other with cuts to its dorsal fins. 

The whales were found dead on the shores of Masbate and Camarines Sur yesterday and today (Thursday, August 22), the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has said.

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Nonie Enolva, BFAR Bicol spokesman, said a pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps) measuring 2.23 metres was “heavily emaciated” when it died at 11am today in Del Gallego town.

Ms Enolva said the pygmy sperm whale had not swallowed any plastic but died due to poor nutrition. “It could not have been able to hunt for food or it was possibly suffering from a disease,” she told The Inquirer.

whales
A Pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps) was described as “heavily emaciated” and died at Del Gallego in Camarines Sur. Photograph courtesy of BFAR.

Previously, in Batuan town, a short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) was already dead when reports from the Philippine Coast Guard Masbate reached BFAR in Masbate at 7am yesterday.

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Enolva said the 4.91-metre whale was found at Gibraltar village with a rope around its dorsal fin and wounds on its tail, which possibly caused its death.

Ms Enolva has reminded fisherfolk to be careful about the proper disposal of their fishing equipment.

“We enjoin our fishers not to leave their discarded nets and ropes in the seas. These contribute to net entanglement of our marine mammals and other fisheries resources in the oceans.

“They should be taking the discarded nets to the local material recovery facility so as not to add to the marine debris polluting the sea or to the number of wildlife deaths.”

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