10 dolphins found dead in Del Gallego CSur

By Rhaydz B. Barcia


Ten Fraser dolphins died while 15 others were stranded at the shores of Del Gallego town in Camarines Sur on Tuesday, Jan. 26 due to illegal fishing activities, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said.


Nonie Enolva, BFAR regional spokesperson, said that 10 of the 25 Fraser dolphins (Lagenodelphis hosei) were found dead at Barangay Magais 1, Del Gallego, Camarines Sur on Tuesday.


She said that the BFAR Regional Emergency Stranding Response Team received a call from its fishery technician assigned in the area about the stranded dolphins.

THE 10 Fraser dolphins found dead in the coastal barangay of Del Gallego.


When the team arrived in the area, 10 dolphins were already dead, eight were rescued and seven were released back to the sea by residents.


“The carcasses will be preserved by icing on site. As to the cause of stranding and eventual death, we have already ascertained that it was due to blast fishing based on the hemorrhages in almost the entire body and blood oozing from the mouth, eyes and ears of the said dolphins,” Enolva said.


The age of the dolphins ranges from jùvenile to adult. All 10 are female. The villagers of Barangay Magais 1, Del Gallego, Camarines Sur found the dolphins at the shorelines at around 4:00 AM, Jan. 26.


Dolphins, similar to other sea mammals, usually stay in deep waters for about 15 to 20 minutes and go to the surface to breathe.


But when they are disturbed, these mammals look for a sanctuary, where they can be relieved of the shock by putting up their heads and laying on the surface to breathe.


The stranded dolphins uncovered or suffered trauma as they sought refuge in nearby shores due to illegal fishing. Ragay Gulf is considered a “hot spot” for blast fishing.


Records of the Philippine Marine Stranding Network say that Bicol had a high prevalence of mass stranding due to illegal fishing practices (blast fishing) for the past years, making the region a “hot spot” for stranding dolphins.


Enolva said that the 25 Fraser dolphins were the first stranded cases in 2021.


Last year, at least 15 melon-headed whales (Peponocephala electra) were found dead in Catanduanes on Oct. 8, following their mass stranding in the province's coastal waters.


The 15 were part of a pod of about 70 melon-headed whales that were stranded in a mangrove area in San Andres town.


BFAR said then that the 15 melon-headed whales found dead in Catanduanes were also victims of blast fishing within the Lagonoy Gulf and Maqueda Channel.


Maqueda Channel is located within the areas of Caramoan, Presentacion in Camarines Sur and Catanduanes.