2 dolphins plucked from Quezon seas
LUCENA CITY, Philippines—Two injured dolphins were rescued and returned to the sea by fishers along the coast of Quezon province on Wednesday and Monday, a lawyer from an environmentalist group and a provincial official said.
Lawyer Sheila de Leon, head of Tanggol Kalikasan-Southern Tagalog, said, a 1½-meter female dolphin got entangled in the fishing net of a local fisherman in Bantigue village in Pagbilao town facing Tayabas Bay early Wednesday.
“The dolphin had no serious injuries, only minor bruises,” De Leon said.
She said fisherman Daniel Ruicol brought the dolphin to the shoreline of Sunshine Beach Resort and immediately reported the incident to the TK-ST office and the provincial government.
The resort owner administered care to the dolphin and then helped it back to the deep portion of the bay shortly before noon, she added.
“The beach owner named the dolphin Sunshine,” De Leon said.
On Monday, an injured dolphin was also found by fishermen lying ashore near the coast of Guinayangan town facing Ragay Gulf.
The dolphin—2 ½ meters long—bore minor wounds at the back, said Allan Castillo, aquaculturist II-fisheries division of Quezon provincial government, in a phone interview Wednesday morning.
He said the villagers had wanted to butcher the animal as it seemed to be dying but he cautioned the local fish technician to tell the villagers it is against the law.
Castillo said the correct practice is to bury the dead dolphin with full documentation.
He added the villagers were preparing for the burial of the dying dolphin when the fish technician noticed that a piece of stone was stuck in the sea creature's nostril.
“When the stone was removed, the dolphin suddenly regained consciousness and begun to breathe again,” Castillo said, quoting a report from a fellow fishery officer in Guinyangan.
He said the local government, concerned citizens and policemen took care of the wounded dolphin while it was resting near the shore.
The gentle sea creature was eventually released back to the gulf Tuesday afternoon.
De Leon called on fishermen and coastal villagers not to hurt and kill dolphins when they get washed ashore. “They are friendly creatures. Just guide them back to the sea and set them free,” she said.
Dolphins are generally classified as endangered species and their sale, ownership and transport are prohibited by Philippine laws (Republic Act No. 8550, Sec. 91, 92 and 97; Fisheries Administrative Order 202 and 208) and the international treaty, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
This marine mammal is facing increasing threats from climate change because of factors such as rising sea temperatures.
Global warming has threatened to disrupt the marine ecosystem by destroying plankton that served as food for most marine animals.
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