Dugong released back to sea in Brooke’s Point

A 200 kg female Sea Cow (dugong) was caught in Brooke’s Point, last Nov. 5, 2018. (Photo credit to Richen M. Bajar)

Fishermen in Brooke’s Point town released back into the waters of a marine protected area (MPA) in Barangay Maasin a live female “dugong” (sea cow) which got accidentally caught in their fishing net on November 5.

Richen Mission Bajar, administrative aide of the Office of Municipal Agriculturist of Brooke’s Point, said Wednesday on her social media account post that the mammal which weighed around 200 kilos was also released on the same day it was accidentally caught.

She said it was caught by chance by the fishermen using a beach seine (sinoro) gear.

“The lucky female sea cow was securely released back to the sea on the same day. Thank you, dear responsible fishermen, dahil pinakawalan ninyo siya! Sana dumami pa sila sa lugar natin, especially sa MPA,” she said.

According to the Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines (MWWP), “the dugong stands out as the largest and only sea-living mammal which grazes on seagrass.”

It said fully grown dugongs span about three meters from snout tip to tail, yet are gentle and harmless.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has described the dugong as “vulnerable.”

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