Whale shark caught in fishing net freed, is back to sea
LAOAG CITY—A whale shark (Rhincodon typus), commonly known as “butanding,” got caught in a vertical fish net off Calayab beach here about 2 p.m. on Thursday, according to a report from the Ilocos Norte Provincial Fishery Office.
Arthur Valente, Ilocos Norte fishery regulatory officer, said local fishermen spotted the whale shark snared by their fishing nets. Aware that butanding were endangered animals and not dangerous, the fishermen released the whale back into the sea, the report said.
The slow-moving and gentle whale sharks thrive in tropical, warm waters.
“Because it’s anchovy season, the whale shark may have been looking for food when it got caught in the net,” Valente said.
In a related development, a stranded dolphin named Valentina was scheduled to be transferred Friday to the Ocean Adventure Park in the Subic Bay Freeport for proper care and custody.
Valentina was rescued off Badoc town on Feb. 13 by villagers and marine experts, after it lost its way due to blast fishing in the area.
To complete the dolphin’s rehabilitation, the Ilocos Norte office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the Ilocos Norte government decided to ship Valentina to the Subic theme park, which operates a fully equipped rehabilitation center for dolphins.
Valentina has been recuperating in a makeshift pen, wrapped in a trainer floater, that was put together by volunteers.
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