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20 dolphins beached in La Union, Pangasinan; 10 of them dead

DAGUPAN CITY, Jan. 29 — At least 20 dolphins, 10 of them dead, have been found in the beaches of Pangasinan and La Union since January 23, according to the National Fisheries Technology and Development Center (NIFTDC), a research facility of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) located in Dagupan.

Dr. Westly Rosario, NIFTDC chief, said the dead dolphins were buried in the fish cemetery of NIFTDC but in the case of one of these, only its body was buried as its head was missing, and may have been slaughtered by fishermen who found it in the shores of Lingayen.

The ninth dead dolphin dead was found by personnel of the city waste management office in the vicinity of the Dagupan dump site Thursday morning, January 29, and another was found by fishermen in Sual town a few hours later.

Four other dolphins were reported stranded in Barangay Pugaro, Dagupan City but were released back to the sea after a veterinarian treated two of them of their wounds and also gave them anti-biotic shots to prevent infection on their bodies on order of Mayor Belen Fernandez.

Dr. Rosario told PNA that all the beached dolphins were weak and many of them had wounds believed to be inflicted by bamboo spears and others were hacked by bolos.

"It means that some fishermen in our area have started harming dolphins by piercing them with bamboo spears or hacking them with bolos when the sea mammals get near them in the open sea," said Rosario.

He said one of the weak dolphins was entrusted by the provincial government to the NIFTDC so that it can be revived but to be released back to the sea as soon as it has regained its strength.

Five weak dolphins were also beached in Aringay, La Union and another in Sual town last January 24, but were all released back to the sea after they were treated of their body injuries, said Rosario.

Rosario called on fishermen not to harm sea mammals which are considered endangered species as there is a law enacted by Congress imposing imprisonment to anyone harming them. (PNA)

LAP/LVM/LVMICUA/RMA

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