A TWENTY-FOUR feet whale shark commonly known as butanding was found dead Saturday afternoon along the coastline in a village in the town of Socorro in Bukas Grande Island, one of the islands comprising Siargao.
“We received a report Saturday afternoon from the barangay officials that a dead butanding was seen floating along the coastline in Barangay Pamosaingan. I immediately dispatched four of my police personnel to the area and at the same time informed the Municipal Agriculture office and the Municipal Environment and Natural Resource Office about the dead endangered mammal,” said Police Inspector Alvin Caballes, municipal police chief of Socorro.
Caballes pointed out that by Sunday noon, the whale shark was buried to a site near the shoreline in Dapja beach of the said barangay.
“The butanding was secured at around 5:00 Saturday afternoon and with the help of non-government organizations, the endangered whale shark was buried the next day at around 12:00 noon but we finished everything by 3:00 Sunday afternoon because of several procedures that were made by the Large Marine Vertebrates (Lamave) that conducted the necropsy on the animal,” he said.
Edelito Sangco, of the Socorro Empowered People's Cooperative, said on social media that the animal was found entangled in a “pamo” gill net.
“Conducted ocular inspection on the reported Whale Shark (Butanding) entangled in a pamo fishing net off the coast of the said barangay. Truly, I felt sad with the sight of a member of the largest known fish species in the world measuring 9 feet wide and 24 feet long. According to the net owner Barangay Kagawad Pacquito E. Tatoy, he paid out the net last night and when he, together with his wife, hauled it out this morning, they found the already dead gigantic creature entangled in the fishing gear. They sought the help of the other fishermen from the village who took turn dragging the fish ashore. Barangay Captain Felipa Liquido said that they are scheduling to burry (sic) the creature tomorrow, January 3, 2016 at 12:00 noon in time for the peak high tide,” Sangco's social media post stated.
According to Sangco and the police chief, Jessica Labaja from Lamave Project-Philippines based in Pintuyan, Southern Leyte, performed the necropsy.