Coast Guard sets watch for wounded ‘butanding’
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has requested fishermen and all vessels on Manila Bay to report any sighting of the injured butanding (whale shark) that appeared off Roxas Boulevard in Manila on Thursday afternoon.
The butanding disappeared as night fell around 6 p.m. that day and shortly before the arrival of marine biologists and veterinarians from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) who were supposed to tend to its wounded back fin.
“As of this time, there was no more sightings of the butanding, but we advised the fishermen and vessels in the vicinity to immediately inform the coast guard if they sighted it,” PCG spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Algier Ricafrente said Friday.
Lt. Cmdr. Roben de Guzman, PCG port state control officer, who led a team of coast guard divers and special operations group personnel to the area, said the fish had a 10-inch long and two-inch-deep laceration on its back that seemed to have affected the back fin.
The butanding measured four to five meters and was estimated by BFAR experts to be 3 to 5 years old. Jerome Aning
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