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Atimonan fishermen, barangay officials save whale shark trapped in Lamon Bay

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AT least 30 fishermen, concerned residents and barangay officials in the town of Atimonan, Quezon, came together to rescue a juvenile whale shark (Rhincodon typus) that was caught in a fishnet in Barangay Angeles early this week, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reported.

The whale shark was discovered around 10 a.m. on Monday, August 23, at Barangay Angeles as it tries to wiggle out of the fishnet near the shore of Lamon Bay.

According to the Conservation and Development Division-Coastal Resources and Foreshore Management Section of DENR-Calabarzon, this is not the first time a marine mammal was sighted in the community.

“This may indicate rich marine biodiversity in the area and we need to continue to conserve and protect the marine ecosystem. Kung ano ang ginagawa natin sa kagubatan at kalupaan, ay magkakaroon din ng epekto sa ating katubigan at karagatan. Kaya patuloy natin itong pag ingatan,” Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria said in a news statement.

The official is calling on the public not to touch a whale shark when encountering one. It is also advised not to feed the species as it can alter their behavior and could pose a harmful effect on them.

Based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listing, whale sharks have a decreasing population trend and are classified under the Endangered (EN) category—a designation applied to species at a very high risk of extinction due to rapid decline in the population of 50 to 70 percent over the previous 10 years.

The identified major threats to whale sharks include fisheries catches, bycatch in nets, and vessel strikes.

In case of a whale shark encounter, the DENR-Calabarzon is urging the public to report the incident to the nearest DENR office in the area.

Other Environment and Natural Resources-related concerns may also be reported via hot line 8888, SMS to 09561825774/09198744369, e-mail to [email protected] , or send photos, videos, and other information via official Facebook Page of DENR-Calabarzon: https://www.facebook.com/DENR4AOfficial/.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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