We here at GenSan Magazine have had the honor and pleasure of featuring one of the major defining geographic features that belong not just to the city, but to its immediate neighbor provinces: Sarangani Bay. Its natural harbor has contributed majorly to GenSan’s growth as a port, as well as provided sanctuary for marine wildlife. While fishing is one sector that has benefited from that latter quality, the fact that a wide variety of sea creatures can stay awhile within the bay has made it a favored getaway for aquatic nature lovers. In fact, were it not for the pandemic, the record number of cetaceans seen in the bay would have really drawn the tourists.
Minda News reports that an astonishing 300 individual whales and dolphins were seen in Sarangani Bay during the previous week. This was reported by Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape (SBPS) area superintendent Joy Oloquin this past Monday, February 8. The data came from a report by SBPS personnel that have been monitoring the bay over an observation period of four days, running from February 2 to 6. It was a remarkable concentration of marine mammals that indicate a possibly thriving population within the Sarangani Bay premises.
In the specifics of the report furnished by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Region 12 Office (DENR-XII), the around 300 sea mammals were classified into two dolphin species and one whale species. Somewhere from 80 to 100 Spinner dolphins were spotted alongside 150-200 Fraser’s dolphins and 20-30 short-finned pilot whales. The last time total numbers of these animals were seen in the bay was back in 2019, when they numbered 270. This most recent batch of whales and dolphins were spotted clearly off the waters of the Sarangani municipalities of Malapatan and Glan.
In the report, Oloquin theorized that the reason for such a concentration of cetaceans in Sarangani Bay this time of year would be for food hunting purposes, as well as the nursing of recently-born calves. Also discussed in the report are the current possible threats to this significant sea mammal population, ranging from hazardous plastic and non-biodegradable garbage, as well as the close intrusion of man, particularly those operating fishing vessels that might disturb the creatures with their fishing operations.
Image: Philippine Information Agency