THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Davao Region (BFAR-Davao) has cited three major explanations regarding the sardine beaching that occurred at Km. 13, Sasa, Davao City on the night of January 10, 2024.
This is contrary to the anomalies and speculations circulating on social media that the phenomenon signals upcoming natural disasters, particularly earthquakes.
Based on their investigation released earlier this week, the influx of a large volume of juvenile sardines, locally known as lupoy, can be possibly attributed to three scientific reasons: seasonality of the fish in Davao Gulf, vertical movement scientifically called upwelling that occurs in the open ocean and along coastlines, and abundant presence of plankton or phytoplankton, which are the major source of food of sardines as based on the conduct of fish and water sampling last January 11.
Meanwhile, in a radio interview with Relly Garcia, officer-in-charge of BFAR-Davao, data from the National Stock Assessment Program (NSAP) have shown that the spawning period of sardines in Davao Gulf usually peaks during the fourth quarter of 2023 and lasts until the first quarter of 2024.
This further means that residents near the coastline would experience consecutive sardine beaching from October to February.
To recall, the official had already revealed in one of the interviews that the phenomenon was not the first time being reported in the region. In fact, there has been an abundance of “tamban” in the province of Davao Occidental, particularly in the municipalities of Malalag and Santa Maria.
The office also confirmed that a school of fish beached at the coastline of the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) and Azuela Cove, Lanang, Davao City on the night of January 24.
One of the most valuable marine resources in the Philippines is sardine, and Sardinella lemuru is dominant in the waters of the Northern Mindanao Region (NMR). However, overfishing, habitat deterioration and a lack of data crucial for efficient management are causing the sardine fisheries to decline and become threatened.
Due to the event, Garcia advised the public to report any such incidents directly to the agencies in charge.
“Pinapayohan po namin ang publiko na kung may unusual incident tulad nito, agad na makipag-ugnayan sa local government unit at Bfar [Davao Region] (We advise the public that if there is an unusual incident like this, immediately contact the local government unit and BFAR [Davao Region]),” he added. (DEF)