City Veterinarian initiates mammal conservation PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 10 November 2014 11:16

To increase the city’s capability in responding to incidence of marine mammal stranding in the city, the Office of the City Veterinarian (OCV) had conducted a two-day training workshop on marine mammal conservation and stranding response last week.

Experts from the Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network (PMMSN) and Ocean Adventure explained to participants the importance of protecting the remaining population of marine mammals in the city and trained them on the proper response to stranding events.

Participants to the training workshop were composed of city employees from the OCV, Office of the City Agriculturist and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, select barangay officials as well as representatives of various Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Councils (FARM-C) and the academe.

According to City Veterinarian Dr Mario Arriola, the training is to address the rising frequency of marine mammal stranding in the city, to raise awareness on the protection of marine mammals, and more importantly, to ensure the survival of whales, dolphins and dugongs that are “beached” in the city.

PMMSN National President and Ocean Adventure consultant Dr Lemnuel Aragones introduced the group to the organization’s advocacy, with a comprehensive discussion on the various species of whales and dolphins found in the country’s waters.

Resident Ocean Adventure veterinarian Dr Leo Jonathan Suarez, who is a native of Culianan, discussed the phenomena of stranding and enlightened the group on the factors that can lead to a single or mass stranding of marine mammals.

Both experts talked in details the importance of an effective stranding response, particularly in instances involving live stranders where the safety and survival of the animal must be considered.

To ensure their readiness to respond to future strandings, participants underwent simulation exercises near Paseo del Mar and successfully acted out various scenarios of stranding.

With their successful completion of the training workshop, the participants will be among the first to respond to reported strandings in the city and will make up the local PMMSN chapter in the city. — Claudine Uniana