Sunday, January 21, 2007

Killing stingrays

Stingrays gained more popularity after the death of world-renowned conservationist Steven Erwin of Australia. He was killed by a puncture of a stingray's tail.
Recently we visited Pamilican island in Bohol.
It is one of the virgin islands in this part of the country, still unspoiled by commercial exploitation.
There are two rather small islands off Bohol province, smaller than popular tourist island Panglao, yet to be discovered.
They are Pamilacan and Balicasag, both tourist potentials.
Pamilacan is four times bigger than Balicasag.
It is less than an hour via motorized banca trip from mainland Bohol, from the town of Loay.
Guests who go Dolphin watching often drop by Balicasg and Pamilacan.
We arrived a few hours after sunrise, and were able to catch-up with the fisherfolks of the island who have just arrived from their daily fishing activities in deep sea.
We encountered two stingrays among marine catch they brought.
The stingrays were already dead when we saw them.
The fishermen from the island denied they were stingray-hunting.
They claimed that the stingrays were just entangled with the nets they set out at sea.
But I noticed that the stingrays had fresh red cuts and burises in parts of their black skins.
The fishermen also said that they never include stingrays among their targets, although they admitted that they command a price in the local market.
The stingrays are heavy. I tried to lift one of the dead stingrays but it was so heavy.
Fishermen said that the stingray they caught wighed at least 70 kilos.
Later, the stingrays were sliced and mutilated, and distributed among the fisherfolks for sale in mainland Bohol.
I was able to capture the mutilattion by video. You can view it at :
There really is no effective regulation in the preservation of our marine life.
No government entity monitors these activites.
It is hurting our own marine life.
Something has to be done about this.
Effective regulation, education of the locals, and impressing on them the importance of preserving life in our seas, are urgently needed

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