Tuesday Nov, 19 2019 12:37:20 AM

Marine mammals sighted in Sarbay

Climate Change/Environment • 21:00 PM Fri Aug 30, 2019
365
By: 
Edwin O. Fernandez
The sea mammals as documented by sea environmentalists in Sarangani Bay (PASu-SBPS photos)

GLAN, Sarangani – Officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Soccsksargen region and partner marine environmentalists said Sunday that hundreds of mammals were spotted in Sarangani Bay (SarBay) from August 13 to 16.

Dr. Sabdullah C. Abubacar, DENR-12 regional executive director, said he learned during the 4-day 3rd Quarter Monitoring was conducted in the coast of Sarangani and in the towns of Maasim, Alabel, Malapatan and Glan in Sarangani that rare sea mammals visited SarBay.

The monitoring team is composed of personnel from the Office of the Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) of Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape (SBPS), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-12), Sarangani Province Environmental Conservation and Protection Center and the General Santos City Environment and Natural Resources Office.

The team formed by DENR spotted two Dwarf/Pygmy Sperm Whales in Malapatan, 40-60 Spinner Dolphins in Glan and Malapatan, 150-200 Fraser’s Dolphins in General Santos City and Glan, four Pygmy Killer Whales in Malapatan and six Risso’s Dolphins in Glan.

Abubacar, in a statement, was sad of the monitoring team’s report that it also spotted patches of garbage floating within the bay ranging from plastic bottles, cellophanes, plastic wrappers and other non-biodegradable materials that may harm the cetaceans and other marine organisms.

It also observed several fishing vessels conducting activities within the bay.

Abubacar, who also chairs the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB)-SBPS, said that the DENR and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) have intensified the monitoring of the all developments and day-to-day undertakings of all establishments to protect and preserve the bay and the marine life therein.

"All stakeholders must work together to conserve and protect the Sarangani Bay. DENR alone cannot protect the water body. We have to synergize our work and activities to help and preserve the bay," Abubacar told environment middle level managers and department heads.

As the board’s chairperson, Abubacar also mandated EMB 12 to provide updates on issuances, violations and actions taken on establishments which will serve as bases to determine how far the board has gone in terms of enforcement.

Sarangani Province Governor and PAMB-SBPS Vice-chairperson Steve C. Solon said that the sighted species will vanish if the in and out movements in bay will not be regulated, fixed and monitored.

“The implementation of the rules should be strict so that everyone will follow. We can have the economic development and preservation of the protected seascape at the same time,” Solon said even as he vowed full support for DENR in protecting SarBay.

The Sarangani Bay was declared as Protected Area in the Republic Act 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Area System Act of 2018.

Under the law, the state will ensure the protection of marine life and maintenance of natural, biological and physical diversities for the present and future generations.

Abubacar said the sightings of rare marine mammals along the bay indicated that the area is safe and friendly haven for them.

He said it was the not the first time a huge number of sea mammals were noticed in SarBay but the latest was the well documented. Fisher folks have reported sightings of sea mammals in the past but were not documented.

The DENR regional director was actually mad at the sightings of garbage because “it shows some people are not caring for the environment and sea resources.”

To help address the garbage disposal malpractice, Abubacar strictly demanded from DENR personnel on the ground the conduct of regular monitoring and reporting to him about garbage in the SarBay. 

Abubacar said the sightings of rare marine mammals along the bay indicate the area is safe and friendly haven for them.

He said it was the not the first time huge number of sea mammals were seen in SarBay but the latest was the well documented. Fisher folks have reported sightings of sea mammals in the past were not documented.

The DENR regional director was actually mad at the sightings of garbage because “it shows some people are not caring for the environment and sea resources.”

To help address the garbage disposal malpractice, Abubacar strictly demanded from DENR personnel on the ground regular monitoring and reporting to him about garbage in the SarBay.   

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