Pods of whales, dolphins frolic in Sarangani Bay
KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, Philippines — Hundreds of whales and dolphins showed up in Sarangani Bay this month to the delight of environment workers monitoring the marine mammals in the waters of Sarangani province.
Joy Oloquin, superintendent of the Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape (SBPS), said the presence of whales and dolphins in large numbers could mean they are hunting for food and nursing calves.
Among the species spotted in early February were 20 to 30 short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus), eight Risso’s dolphins, 80 to 100 spinner dolphins, and 150 to 200 Fraser’s dolphins off Malapatan and Glan towns, according to a report from the Protected Area Management Office (Pamo).
“The presence of these sea mammals in Sarangani is a clear indication that our seawaters are safe and that they feel safe here, that’s why they keep coming back,” Oloquin said.
It also meant that the coastal communities were not harming the marine mammals, said Roy Mejorada, a marine biologist at Environmental Conservation and Protection Center (ECPC)-Sarangani.
“The locals have been educated and trained how to protect marine life,” he said.
A team of environment personnel is monitoring the marine mammals in Sarangani Bay every month to ensure the strict protection and conservation of the seascape.
It is composed of personnel from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) conservation and development division, Pamo, General Santos City DENR office and ECPC-Sarangani.
—Edwin O. Fernandez
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