Marine mammal strandings decline in Region 1 – BFAR

VIGAN CITY – There is a significant decline of incidents of mammal strandings in Region 1 this year, a key official of the Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network Inc. reported during the Fourth National PMMSN Symposium held at Baluarte, here on October 6-7.

Dr. Lemnuel V. Aragones, president of the PMMSN Inc., said that in 2015, out of 110 mammal strandings nationwide, PMMSN recorded some 60 strandings in region one but this year, only 10 have been recorded so far.

Aragones said that region one has addressed the issue in all various aspects and by hosting the symposium, it shows how organized their PSSMN chapter is and how they are facing the challenges of strandings.

“There has been now more protection, floating assets, and mandated trained personnel and law enforcers,” Aragones added.

Meanwhile, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in the Ilocos Regional Director Nestor D. Domenden said that the ocean current and the geographical location of the region contribute to the mammal strandings.

However, he attributed the significant decrease in the number of strandings in the region  to the involvement of the fisherfolks in the advocacy.

He said that the coastal residents are at the frontline in reporting mammal strandings to their respective municipal agriculturist or technician or to the municipal or provincial veterinarian who serves as the first responders.

“If the reporting is timely, chances of survival or rehabilitation of the mammals are high,” the regional director said.

Meanwhile, Ilocos Sur agreed to organize its own provincial PMMSN chapter soon.

“As far as the expansion of network of chapter in region one is concerned, we have already tapped support of the local chief executives. What we need to strengthen is the support from the private sector,” Domenden said.

Some 3,600 professionals and volunteers throughout the Philippines who are committed to responding to stranded marine mammals composed the PMMSN Inc.#