Dead Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin Found in Maitum, Sarangani Province
July 06, 2020: Rey Aresgado, a local fisherman of Maitum found a floating dead dolphin while he was fishing at around 5:00 AM offshore of Brgy. Mabay.
The Local Government of Maitum, represented by Ariane Shane Valdez, Fishery Coordinator responded to the incident together with Maria Tubera, Technical Staff of DENR-CENRO-Kiamba. Further, the first responders informed the concerned agencies: SBPS-PAMB, BFAR-12, ECPC and PENRO-Sarangani regarding the stranding incident.
The dead dolphin was identified as an Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops aduncus). According to dolphins-world.com, the Indo-Pacific dolphin has a distribution in the tropics and subtropics of the Indo-Pacific as its name suggests. It inhabits from the west of South Africa to the southern part of Japan and the north, east and west of Australia including the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Solomon Islands and the Indo-Malay Archipelago. Females reach sexual maturity a few years earlier than males. The former can start reproducing at seven years, but the latter begin up to nine years. Mating and births occur more frequently during the spring and summer months. The species is not considered to be endangered. However, its near-shore distribution, makes it vulnerable to environmental degradation, direct exploitation, and problems associated with local fisheries.
Representatives from the Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network (PMMSN) BFAR 12 Chapter together with Roy Mejorada, DVM, from the Sarangani Environment Conservation and Protection Center (ECPC) arrived at the area at around 3:25 PM to conduct a necropsy in order to determine the cause of death. The dolphin was found to be a pregnant female (with fetus) and measured about 2.16 meters in length. The team collected tissue samples that will be sent to the University of the Philippines – Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology (UP-IEMS) for analysis.
The PMMSN recommends that if a sick, injured, stranded, or dead marine mammal is found, please contact the Local Government Unit, the nearest BFAR Provincial Fishery Office or the local PMMSN Chapter.
Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape (SBPS) – Megafauna Response Team – 09096189917
Sarangani Provincial Fishery Office - 09177247436
Sultan Kudarat Provincial Fishery Office - 09182758747
BFAR 12 Fisheries Resource
Management Section - 09169534504
Photo Credits: FRM Section and Ariane Shane Marquez Valdez