Wednesday, May 24, 2006

New dolphin's specie has been discovered!

A new species of dolphin not yet officially documented in Pamilacan waters, the Pantropical Spotted Dolphin was recently seen here, proof that the island's vicinity may be home to yet many other species otherwise not documented.

This was confirmed by Dolphin Watch Philippines (DWP) Chairman Leo Sumalpong who took environmentalists from World Wildlife Fund, EcoNature Philippines, Environmental Legal Assistance Center and government representatives to Bowride, a Month of the Ocean offer and Dolphin Festival 2006 highlight.

There have been at least three other sightings with positive identifications recently, Sumalpong said a short while before a village interaction with folks happened in Pamilacan May 19, 2006.
Foreign funds form New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAid) have helped Sumalpong and his cetacean spotters employed under the DWP.

They have been trained by international marine biologists on field identification to be able to confirm the development.

Aside from international funds funneled to government agencies like the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Tourism and other organizations, the government also pitched in funds for technical assistance to the former whale hunting community.

Because Pamilacan lies directly amidst the migratory highway for whales and dolphins from the Pacific, local fishers have been sustained by hunting whales. Until the ban was strictly implemented in 1997, the community has since then went the conservationists' way.

Ma. Felisa Digdigan of EcoNature Philippines has said that the Pamilacan waters has been home to resident dolphins identified as the long and short snouted spinner dolphins (Stenella Longirostris, Stenella clymene), bottle-nose (tursiops truncantus) and rough toothed dolphins (Steno Bredanensis)

The sighting and its positive documentation may add up the dolphin and whale watch attraction that the former fishers now marine shepherds are now offering to guests and tourists.

The Pantropical spotted dolphin, (Stenella Attenuata) sports a slender body with a long narrow beak, and a dark grey dorsal cape and dorsal fin. Light spots cover the dark areas of the body. The lips are white has an average of 40 pairs of teeth per jaw. The undersides are pale grey with dark spots.

The dolphin averages 1.7-2.4m in length and weighs between 90 to a hundred kilos, says Dolphin and Whale Conservation Society Website.

The presence of another species forces an even more stringent measures to make sure that dolphins and whales are not hurt and threatened by fishing and tourism operations.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"