(cause: sea blasting for oil search?)By Rey Anthony ChiuPhilippine Information Agency
Tagbilaran City -- Pilot whales looking rather weak and acting strangely in the waters off Pamilacan island has alarmed marine biologists and tourists, putting the speculation of the ill-effects of an ongoing seismic survey in Bohol waters.
Governor Erico Aumentado however said the survey proponents, NorAsia Energy have said they have not seen or noticed any marine life directly affected by the survey.
Merlou Reyes, a Bohol tour guide and a former World Wildlife Fund staff reported the â€œunusualâ€ movements of the pilot whales while on a dolphin and whale watching tour Thursday.
Pilot whales, generally deep sea-going whales are in the Red list of threatened species but have lately found the waters off Pamilacan hospitable to them. The island, though a historically whale hunting ground using an implement called pilak, the residents have been converted to safeguard the whales in lieu of one eco-tourism activity in the dolphin and whale watching tours.
A text message sent to Bohol Rescue Unit for Marine Mammal volunteers has again also popped speculations that the â€œweakenedâ€ pilot whales could be disorientated cetaceans within range of the seismic survey.
A current gas and oil exploration less than twenty kilometers from the dolphin and ecotourism zone in the whale watching area is using a specialized air gun to blast off booms of as loud as 200 decibels. The action would allow surveyors to map out the sea floor and detect trapped oil and gas deposits in Maribojoc Bay and Cebu-Bohol strait.
Also residents along the Maribojoc Bay has noticed reduce catch, possibly an effect of the loud booms felt more audibly underwater than over.
Aside from the whales, a resident from Loon has rescued a sea turtle (pawikan) that beached in Tangnan and another fisherman in Maribojoc has reported another sea-turtle stranding in the coasts of the town.
Although marine biologist and species conservation director of the WWF Dr. Arnel Andrew Yaptinchay said the sighted unusual movements may still be all right, he instructed Pamilacan residents to note their observations on the pilot whales off the island. (PIA)Linkback: https://tubagbohol.mikeligalig.com/index.php?topic=2410.0