Monitoring of whales continues

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    BALANGA City – By helicopter and by motorized bancas, monitoring of melon-headed whales continued in Bataan Wednesday, a day after more than 200 of the sea mammals were beached in Pilar town but later pushed towards the open sea.

    Gov. Enrique Garcia dispatched the provincial government’s newly-purchased four-seater Robinsons helicopter over Manila Bay in the towns of Pilar, Orion, Limay and Mariveles in Bataan and even near Corregidor.

    The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in coordination with Bantay Dagat and the police sent two teams composed of four motorized bancas going in separate directions.

    Danny Abrera, fisheries division chief of the provincial agriculture office, said BFAR director Malcolm Sarmiento has ordered the monitoring of the whales in the Bataan sea for 72 hours effective Tuesday afternoon.

    Abrera headed the two motorized bancas bound for southern Bataan from Orion to Limay and Mariveles and the area near Corregidor. Nelson Bien of BFAR in Region 3 led the other two bancas to determine the presence of the species of dolphins in the northern part of Bataan from Orion, Pilar and Balanga City.

    After almost two hours of scouring the sea, the monitoring for the day ended with no sea mammals in sight. Abrera said that perhaps the whales are no longer in Bataan and might have passed the opening between Corregidor and Mariveles towards the South China Sea.

    Bantay Dagat and police from Orion who were with the group that shoved the melon-headed whales towards the deep waters near Corregidor at past 2 p.m. of Tuesday said most of the marine animals seemed to be jumping with joy when they reached the area.

    “Parang tuwang-tuwa sila at naglulundagan nang umabot kami sa bahagi ng dagat malapit sa Corregidor bagama’t may ilan kaming nakita na parang nanghihina dahil sa sugat sa ulo at ilang bahagi ng katawan na ang sugat ay kasing-laki ng piso,” Bantay Dagat Armando Calma said.

    Police Officer 2 Ariel Bautista of the Orion police and Calma said they were the last group that followed the whales to the open sea and did not leave until they could no longer see the mammals.

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