‘DUGONG’ NETTED ACCIDENTALLY RELEASED BACK TO SEA IN PALAWAN
Fishermen in Brooke’s Point who accidentally caught a sea cow (dugong) in their beach seine released the mammal back to the sea on Nov. 5, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Richen Mission Bajar)
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan — A 200-kilogram live female “dugong” (sea cow) that was accidentally caught recently by fishermen in the municipal waters of Brooke’s Point, was released back into the wilds by last Monday.
Richen Mission Bajar, administrative aide of the Office of Municipal Agriculturist of Brooke’s Point, said the “dugong” was freed on the shores of Barangay Maasin, Brooke’s Point, on Nov. 5, the same day fishermen unintentionally caught it with the use of a beach seine (sinsoro) gear.
“Thank you, dear responsible fishermen, dahil pinakawalan ninyo siya! Sana dumami pa sila sa lugar natin, especially sa MPA (because you release it! I hope they increase in population in our place, especially in the Marine Protected Area),” she said on Wednesday in a Facebook post.
According to the Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines (MWWP), “the dugong stands out as the largest and only sea-living mammal which grazes on seagrass.”
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has described the dugong as “vulnerable.” (PNA)