Whale shark, sea turtle found dead in NegOcc 

The dead whale shark* 

A whale shark and a green sea turtle were found dead in  southern Negros Occidental, Thursday, April 18. 

The whale shark or “Butanding” died a day after it was stranded at the port in Brgy. Aguisan, Himamaylan City. 

Himamaylan Environment and Natural Resources Officer Armela Waldato said that based on their initial investigation, the whale shark probably died due to stress. 

On April 17, witnesses reported the whale shark stranded at the Aguisan Port at about 2:47 a.m. and it was released at about 11 a.m. when the tide had risen. 

The team of the  Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO) with the  police, Philippine Coast Guard, and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources  monitored and observed that there were no reappearances of the  fish after it was released. 

However, at about 1 a.m. Thursday the ENRO  received reports that the whale shark was found dead along the coast of Aguisan, Waldato said. 

The whale shark that was  about 5.5 meters long  and weighed about 1.2 tons  was buried at the city’s sanitary landfill. 

Waldato assured that the whale shark was buried properly and will be tagged for research purposes in the future.

They are still verifying reports that the whale shark was trapped in a net and was dragged to the coast, she said.

They are still conducting further investigation on its cause of death, she added.

Waldato assured that they will be conducting an information drive on how to handle these animals when trapped near the shore. 

She said that during this season, there are sightings of whale sharks and turtles which feed on the fish that are abundant in the area like “tuloy” (Indian oil sardine), “guno” (silverside) and “lukos” (cuttlefish or squid).

Waldato added that in 2021 they also had whale shark sightings in the coastal area of Himamaylan.

Meanwhile, a female green sea turtle was also found dead in the shoreline of Brgy. Masaling, Cauayan town. 

Village councilman John Vincent Barison said the marine turtle, which was 24 inches long and 22 inches wide, had wounds, but the cause of death has yet to be determined.*

Coast Guard and municipal government personnel took measurements. retrieved the carcass then buried it, he added.* 

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