ZAMBOANGA CITY – Several Risso and spinner dolphins have been frequently seen at the Sarangani Bay, near Malapatan and Alabel in Sarangani Province, which could be an indication that the bay has remained safe for such mammals to thrive.
According to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Region 12, its personnel, who have been tasked to conduct surveys in the area, were the ones who first reported seeing the dolphins swimming in Sarangani Bay.
Local residents living near the coastal area of the bay also said the dolphins would sometimes leave the bay, but would return to the area after a few hours.
Jesriel Pantaleon of the Fisheries Management Resources Division of BFAR 12 said the presence of the dolphins in the area was an indicator that the bay was still healthy for the dolphins to live in.
Pantaleon said food sources could also be a reason why dolphins were being frequently sighted in the bay since last year.
Pantaleon added these species were frequently sighted along Malapatan and Glan coastal bay because these areas were rich in squids and fishes that dolphins like to eat.
Other species that can be sighted in the bay include the “butanding” or sperm whale and dugong.
BFAR 12 conducts monthly monitoring of the marine mammals in the area in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-12).
Funded by the governor’s office, the activity was undertaken in order to “know the frequency of the species of marine mammals, their usual sighting and location, estimate their population and density, and observe their behavior and activities within the Bay.