Skip to main content

Fishermen in Bato Barangay Catch 5 Sea Turtles in 9 days

Three fishermen in Binanwahan, Bato have caught five sea turtles in their nets in nine days starting two weeks ago, indicating that the sea grass beds of Cabugao Bay have become a feeding ground for the marine turtles.

marine turtle
Green sea turtle set free.
The extraordinary event began Sept. 14, when Allan Balmadrid, 54, accidentally captured a green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) in his fishing nets while the turtle was feeding at the sea bottom around 100 meters from the shoreline. The find was immediately reported by municipal; agriculturist Lito Barba to Edith Milan, section chief of the CENRO’s Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau.

Milan said the turtle weighed 20 kilograms, with a carapace 50 centimeters long and 45 centimeters wide. It was released back to sea at 4:25 P.M. with tag number PH0555c.

Three days later, on Sept. 17, Balmadrid again accidentally found another "pawikan" of the same species in his net, this time a 25-kilo turtle with a carapace 56 centimeter long and 51 centimeters wide. It was tagged and released by CENRO’s Milan at 3:45 P.M. on the same day.

marine turtle
A tag on its right foreflipper upon its release to natural habitat for monitoring purposes.
Balmadrid’s ‘luck’ was not yet over, as on Sept. 20, at around 11 A.M., his net again snagged a 20-kilogram green sea turtle, which he released at the beach at noon after learning that the CENRO had ran out of tags.

The fisherman, who is married with six childen, three of whom are still studying, said he did not hesitate in deciding to release the sea turtles despite his colleagues’ advice that they keep and slaughter the animals. "The turtles seem to drive fish towards our net," Balmadrid said.

Barangay captain Rustum Asejo told the Tribune that in the following days, two other fishermen –Fernando Tapit and Eduardo Santos - also caught sea turtles in their nets on Sept 21 and 23, respectively. They released the animals immediately back to sea.

marine turtle
Endangered green sea turtle.
Asejo, who said he has been telling local fishermen to release turtles caught in their nets, informed that this is the first time he has heard of that many turtles caught at one time. He joined Balmadrid in speculating that the turtles may be laying eggs at the sandy shore near Binanwahan bridge as their tracks have been spotted in the area. The area where the turtles were caught is limited to the sea just off Binanwahan bridge as there are no reports of fishermen catching turtles in the sea off neighboring villages.

Many fishermen in the neighboring villages in the Cabugao area engage in fishing using fine mesh nets, "ambit" and "sinsoro," with the latter requiring 30 persons. Asejo said that at present there are four "sinsoros" in Binanwahan and four more in Cabugao, but the practice, which is prohibited by law, does not deplete the fish population as it is not done on a daily basis.

The village chief said he underwent a one-day seminar together with Sipi barangay chairman Nilo Teople and members of the local Protected Areas and Wildlife Board at the DENR where the issue of what to do with sea turtles caught by fishermen was briefly discussed. He said the meeting did not say what they would do if they found turtle eggs laid on their shores.

In the early 70’s, they said, a bulldozer working on the barge landing site near the Ficelco compound accidentally uncovered a huge turtle nest. "The people found it difficult to haul away the eggs, there were so many of them," Balmadrid recounted.

Balmadrid and the barangay captain also told the Tribune that sometime in 2002, Eduardo Santos caught a "binililan na pawikan" (probably a leatherback sea turtle) weighing about 50 kilograms. The find was reported to the DENR, whose personnel got the turtle purportedly for tagging. Santos soon learned that the unreleased turtle died days later and was butchered by the DENR personnel, who gave him just a kilo of the turtle meat.

According to Milan, some fishermen in the area wantonly kill captured marine turtles. Republic Act 9147, otherwise known as the "Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act," imposes heavy penalties on the collection, killing and trading of critically endangered and endangered species, including marine turtles. Those found guilty could face fines ranging from P500,000 to a million pesos and years of imprisonment.

Source: Catanduanes Tribune - 04 October 2010

Popular posts from this blog

Pantomina Lyrics And Music

Pantomina is Spanish for pantomime, movements imitating the courtship movements of the rooster and the hen. Ang mga babaye
Kung mayo pa nin agom
Maugay nin aga maugay nin hapon
Alagad kung sinda igua na nin agom
Maugay Octobre, Disyembreng sunudon. Ica palan, Nenang ang pinagsasabi
Magayon na burac sa lugar na ini
Magayon ang tindog malinig ang pisngi
Arin pa daw ang puso ang dai mawili. Can ica sadit pa sadit pa man aco
Si satuyang cawat magkudot-kudotan
Kinudot mo aco kinudot ta ca man
Sabi mo sa saco luhayluhaya man. Ang mga lalake
Hudyan sisaboot
Ang pinagsasabing ngarang pagcamoot
Kundi ang babayeng iyo minahilod
Akong minahiling can mga pangguyod.

Philippine Mining Act of 1995

With the recent issue of magnetite ore mining overwhemingly opposed by residents in the town of Bagamanoc and recently moved the mining site off the coast of Panganiban (Payo), I am compelled to post this Mining Act to serve as reference. "Republic Act No. 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (“Act”) is the governing law that regulates mineral resources development in the country. One of the primary objectives of this act is to revitalize the ailing Philippine mining industry by providing fiscal reforms and incentives and maintaining a viable inventory of mineral reserves to sustain the industry through the infusion of fresh capital through direct investments to finance mineral exploration and/or development activities. The original implementing rules and regulations of the Act was prepared in 1995, and was revised in 1996 under DENR Administrative Order 96 – 40, the revised implementing rules and regulations (RIRR). Collectively, the Act and its RIRR take into considerat…

Churches in Catanduanes

Catanduanes is composed of 11 municipalities, but there are 18 parishes distributed island wide. There are 3 parishes in the capital town Virac, 3 in Viga, 3 in Bato and 2 in San Andres. Although radical architectural changes have been made in many of the centuries old churches. From baroque to contemporary architecture and basic structural changes from coral stones to cement. Still many of the old practices and traditions are revered and observed up to this day. Happy Easter! Vicariate of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Vicar Forane: Rt. Rev. Msgr. Jose B. Molina, PA, VG Virac Cathedral (F-1755), Virac 4800 Catanduanes Population: 42,045; Catholics: 41,204 Titular: Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, December 8 Parish Priest: Rev. Msgr. Jose B. Molina, PA, VG Parochial Vicars: Fr. Allan Martin Basilio, Fr. Joseph Saratan, Fr. Pascual Macuja (Retired, In Residence), Fr. Sid Jose Sanchez, Fr. Paul I. Isorena Cabugao (F-1911), Bato 4801 Catanduanes Population: 9,288; Catholics…

Catanduanes Watershed Forest Reserve

Site description: Catanduanes is an island of 182,300 ha which lies about 10 km off the tip of the Caramoan Peninsula in southern Luzon. The terrain on the island is hilly, particularly in the central portion, but the highest point only reaches just over 800 m. The substantial forests which remain in central Catanduanes are therefore all lowland dipterocarp in type, and are the largest remaining forest block in the whole of the Bicol Region. Forest is found above 490 m, and is estimated to cover a total of about 69,770 ha. It includes considerable areas of old growth dipterocarp forest (reported in 1997 to cover 5,876 ha), and closed-canopy forest in areas that show evidence of having been logged. These forest areas are the source of water for Catanduanes Province. One hydropower project is currently operational, that supplies power to urban areas of the island. The forest areas was proclaimed as a Watershed Reserve in 1987 because of these important function, the whole area is sta…

Wildlife in Catanduanes

Moving around the island, particularly in the remote barangays located in the hinterlands, one can find unusual pets and not often seen animals, some were hunted down to near extinction. Philippine long-tailed macaque or "ukay" are teeming in some parts of the island, often a menace to small farmers' crops. Wild chicken or "abukid" are at times sold as pets by ambulant vendors. The look is no different from a domesticated chicken but I think its smaller and lighter. Long ago wild deers or "usa" can be found in the lowlands and some even tried domesticating this wild animal. But in later years their population had drastically diminished. Same with the wild pig or "opon", a delicacy for many because of less fat and tastier compared to hybrids. The look is very much different from domesticated pigs, mean looking, small and hairy. A dreaded species of Philippine cobra or "haras" as the locals calls it, is found also in the island…