95 endangered hawksbill turtle hatchlings released in Albay

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 6, 2019   •   794

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol has reported 95 hatchlings of hawksbill sea turtle were released in the waters of Sitio Imacoto Cagmanaba, Oas, Albay on Wednesday (Sept 4).

The hawksbill turtle or Eretmochelys imbricata is among the critically endangered sea turtles in the world.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the hawksbill turtles are among the marine creatures that help maintain the health of coral reefs.

“As they remove prey such as sponges from the reef’s surface, they provide better access for reef fish to feed.  They also have cultural significance and tourism value,” the WWF said.

Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Guinobatan Officer Narisol C. Divina appealed to the public to be their partner in protecting marine turtles to save marine life.

“The DENR needs the concern and support of the community and stakeholders on the protection of our marine biodiversity to scale up the Pawikan conservation program of the Department,” she said.

READ: DENR releases endangered sea turtles in Boracay to celebrate Ocean’s Month

According to the DENR Bicol, the coastal waters of Sitio Imacoto, Oas is part of the Ticao Burias Pass Protected Seascape (TBPPS), a marine protected area with very rich marine biodiversity, which offers a suitable nesting habitat for sea turtles.—AAC

Inflight wastes from passenger aircraft could be source of ASF virus – DENR

Marje Pelayo   •   September 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) does not impose quarantine protocols when it comes to inflight wastes of arriving aircraft.

Thus, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) urges airline contractors in NAIA to conduct waste treatment of all inflight wastes before they are shipped to Payatas dumpsites.

According to practice, inflight wastes are brought to Payatas dumpsites where food leftovers are separated from recyclable items.

Such food leftovers from inbound flights could be the source of African Swine Fever (ASF) that entered the country, according to DENR.

“Itong mga tirang pagkain na ito, ito yung binabalot nila at ibenebenta sa Rizal sa mga backyard (These food leftovers are wrapped and sold to backyards in Rizal),” DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said.

Antiporda argued that passenger aircraft travel to and from different countries so it is possible, he said, that the pig virus could have come from ASF-infected countries and reached the Philippines through food leftovers from these passenger aircraft.

The official said, since the outbreak of ASF surfaced some months ago, the Philippines has placed quarantine measures across the country’s seaports and airports.

“Ang nangyari kasi sa airport may quarantine sa tao pero sa basura wala (What happened was, (our) airports set up quarantine for humans and none for garbage),” Antiporda noted, however.

For now, the DENR is also awaiting the result coming from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) regarding the tests conducted to the recovered pig carcasses in Marikina River and in a creek in Quezon City.

Antiporda expressed concern, meanwhile, of the possibility that the virus could develop into a water-borne disease as this would definitely and hugely affect the environment. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

104 new whale sharks spotted in Donsol, highest in several years

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 6, 2019

A diver tags a whale shark off the coast Donsol as part of the local population count. 104 new whale shark individuals were identified in Donsol from January until June of 2019. (Photograph: Jurgen Freund / WWF Philippines)

There are 104 new whale sharks spotted on the coast of Donsol in Sorsogon between January and June 2019, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

This has been the highest number of whale sharks spotted compared to the period between 2017 and 2018, where only 22 new whale sharks were identified.

“Each whale shark can be identified based on the unique pattern of spots behind its gills, which serves as a “fingerprint” for identification. Just as no two human fingerprints are alike, no two whale sharks have the same spot pattern,” according to the WWF website.

The whale shark or Rhincodon typus is classified as endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on their Red List of Threatened Species.

“The whale sharks were sighted during this year’s photo identification activities conducted by WWF-Philippines. In the first half of this year, 168 individuals – with 64 re-sightings alongside the 104 newly identified ones – were noted,” the WWF added.

WWF-Philippines Donsol Project Manager Manuel Narvadez, Jr. said the increase in the number of new whale sharks spotted in Donsol is because the water is now rich in plankton.

“These whale sharks that pass by Donsol aren’t just important due to their value to local tourism. More than that, they play an important, systemic role in providing resilience to the local ecosystem,” he said.—AAC

Let’s fight ocean trash together on International Coastal Cleanup Day!

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 6, 2019

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is inviting the public to participate in the International Coastal Cleanup Day on September 21.

The major clean up sites are in Baseco, Tondo, Manila, CCP Complex & SM By The Bay, Pasay City, LPPCHEA, Navotas Centennial Park, Tanza Marine Tree Park, and PUP Sta. Mesa.

Volunteers can register here:

Individual registration: https://t.co/EExsYAlqn8?amp=1

Group registration: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdzQCmT-7NAFaKw7vD7-BaCIhgfBFXp6biwX18JG7AdbQz2rQ/viewform

The International Coastal Cleanup began more than 30 years ago in Texas. The first clean up was led by two individuals, Linda Maraniss and Kathy O’Hara.

The DENR said September was declared a National Clean Up Month by virtue of Proclamation No. 244 signed on Sept. 3, 1993 while World Clean and Green Week is also observed from Sept. 17-23 every year.—AAC

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