June 10, 2007

70-kilo whale beached along Ilocos Norte shore

PAOAY, Ilocos Norte—A wounded whale beached along the shoreline of Barangay Masintoc here due to pain and exhaustion, officials said.

Arthur Valente, of the Provincial Fisheries Office, said residents immediately alerted authorities after they found the whale on Wednesday night along shallow waters.

Valente said the whale appeared to be weak and in pain due to the injuries on it’s side and back.

“The whale could have been wounded while being chanced upon by passing ships,” he said.

The whale, which measured at 6.3 meters long and 1.3 meters in height, lingered along shallow waters while residents tried to put it back on deep sea.

Residents said the whale refused initially to return to the sea until it voluntarily retreated moments after it regained strength.

It was the first occasion that a whale, which is considered a vanishing species, beached along Ilocos shores in years.

Valente said residents showed no attempt to butcher the sea mammal despite having found the whale in a dying condition.

Last year, fishermen in Pagudpud town accidentally trapped a sea turtle in their fishnets. Authorities returned the sea mammal to the beach after its wounds healed.

Cristina Arzadon (PIA-Ilocos News Service)

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