72 marine creatures washed ashore on Davao's coastlines in last 12 years

File photo
File photo

AN OWNER of a museum that showcases preserved skeletons of various animals said it had already retrieved 72 dead marine creatures washed on the coastlines of the Davao Gulf for the past 12 years.

D’Bone Collector Museum Director Darrell Blatchley said in a press conference on Thursday, April 21, 2022, that 58 of them died immediately while being stranded on the shores. Four of them were pregnant.

The latest, according to Blatchley, was a rare Hotaula beaked whale that was washed ashore on April 10 in Banaybanay, Davao Oriental. He said this is the first reported marine death along the shores of Davao Region for this year.

“It is one of 20 or less ever seen in the whole world. It was only listed as a new whale in 2013," Blatchley, who is also a Datu Bago Awardee, said.

Citing a report from Cambridge University, Blatchley said the first specimen of the said whale was first spotted in Davao Gulf.

Blatchley said the locals had been pushing the whale back to the waters, but it keeps on going back to the shore. The whale died on April 13.

He said they were not able to determine its cause of death as the whale was already chopped before they even arrived.

According to the accounts of locals who responded, green waters were observed coming out of the whale's body. Blatchley suspected plastic ingestion as the possible cause of its death.

Blatchley said he was disappointed with how some locals treated the whale for the past days before its death.

“The whale was an attraction for the days it was alive. Sadly, people in the area did not treat it with respect when it was alive. Ma-stress gyud ang animal (The animal would be stressed)," he said.

Meanwhile, he said only a few stranded whales and dolphins were reported and retrieved for the past two years during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. One was recovered in Don Marcelino, Davao Occidental in 2020, and one in Mati City, Davao Oriental the next year.

Blatchley said the recent number of dead marine creatures being ashored along the coastlines is alarming, considering majority of their deaths are caused by plastic ingestion.

"Fifty-eight out of 72 dying because of plastic, that's very alarming. Plastic has become the natural cause [of death], not [because of] old age," he said.

With the upcoming elections, the museum owner urged candidates to include in their agenda environmental conservation.

“The environment should be a big concern but you also have to look into the livelihood of the affected people,” Blatchley said.


No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.