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Monday, 17 May 2021 16:23

Sarangani Bay marks Ocean Month; coastal villages urged to properly dispose plastics, face masks

SARANGANI BAY (May 17, 2021) – As part of the celebration of the “Month of the Ocean” this May, the Protected Area Management Office - Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape (PAMO-SBPS) together with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 12 conducted a marine mammal monitoring activity on May 12 to 13.

The said activity is regularly done to monitor the frequency of marine mammals and their usual sighting and location; to estimate their population and density, and to observe their behavior and activities within the bay.

During the monitoring activity, some 150 to 200 Spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) and Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus) were monitored and documented near the coastal waters of Barangay Kawas in Alabel town.

The Risso’s dolphins were spotted basking under the heat of the sun while the spinner dolphins were observed actively moving.

According to Gary John Cabinta, Ecosystems Management Specialist of the DENR-Sarangani, the Risso’s dolphins are commonly identified by their linear scars and big dorsal fins. They are usually medium-sized, grey-colored dolphins and could grow up to four meters.

Spinner dolphins, on the other hand, are small dolphins that could grow to about two meters and are known for their acrobatic spins when they leap or jump out of the water.

Cabinta said the sighted species are frequently seen near the waters of Alabel, Malapatan, Glan and General Santos City.

He said the presence of the dolphins indicates that Sarangani Bay remains healthy and still owns a balanced ecosystem.

Cabinta also urged the households situated in the coastal communities to maintain the cleanliness of the bay and to properly dispose their wastes “especially those plastics and make sure that these will not reach the immediate waters to keep all sea creatures safe.”

Likewise, the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) and PAMO continuously advocate the coastal barangays to establish material recovery facilities (MRF) to spread awareness to the community on the proper disposal of their wastes.

The monitoring activity was also participated in by some selected students and content creators from all over Region 12 to showcase the beauty of Sarangani Bay and raise more awareness for its protection and conservation.

The theme of this year’s Ocean Month is “The Science We Need for the Ocean We Want”. Its objective is to communicate and let different stakeholders encounter the science in the bay. One of the best rallying points for its conservation is to let everyone experience it.

Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon has been actively supporting the marine mammal monitoring activity with his Sulong Kalikasan program and has done numerous projects to preserve and nurture the marine resources in Sarangani bay.

The month of May was declared as the “Month of the Ocean” by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 57 signed by then-President Joseph Estrada in December 1998 which mandates the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture through the BFAR to spearhead the activities of the Ocean Month in collaboration with the different sectors of the society. (Joshua John S. Pantonial/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)

Photos by Clarenz Caballero taken during the conduct of the marine mammal monitoring activity on May 12.

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