BACOLOD CITY: A three-ton juvenile whale shark locally known as butanding was stranded in the shallow waters of Barangay Aguisan in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental. The whale shark, which was about six meters long, was reportedly caught in the nets of a fishing vessel on Saturday. Negros Occidental State College of Fisheries professor Roger Ray Manzano, who responded to the call to rescue the whale, said it was likely foraging for food along the coast of southern Negros. Rescuers pushed the whale toward the sea where it slowly swam away. Earlier, a dolphin’s carcass was discovered by fishermen along the shoreline of Barangay Enclaro in Binalbagan town. Manzano dismissed claims that the sightings of whales, dolphins and other marine life are linked to natural disasters. Coastal waters of southern Negros near the Negros Trench used to be a pathway for migratory marine species, which explains the presence of dolphins and whales, he said. “In the case of the butanding , we often see them five to ten kilometers away from the shoreline because they are feeding,” Manzano added.
EUGENE Y. ADIONG