A rare ocean sunfish (Mola-mola) washed ashore on a beach in Brgy. Mandaragat over the weekend but it was immediately returned to the waters by operatives of the maritime police.
2nd Special Operations Unit-Maritime Group (2nd SOU-MG) spokesperson P/Lt. Dandy Ferriol said the ocean sunfish was found weak along the shores of Sitio New Buncag, Mandaragat on July 13 by a concerned resident.
He said the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) examined the large fish species before it was released. It weighed 84 kilos and measured 1.83 meters long.
The ocean sunfish is a “threatened” species based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
“May nag-contact sa amin na may naligaw na mola-mola sa baybay ng New Buncag sa Mandaragat. Nalaman natin na nanghihina ‘yong isda kaya tinignan ito ng BFAR kung may tama o nalambat. then doon na sila nag-decide na dalhin sa mas malalim na part para i-release ito. [Ito ay] considered as threatened species,” Ferriol said.
Meanwhile, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) spokesperson Jovic Fabello said that the ocean sunfish usually exposes itself to the sun for the “regulation of its body temperature”.
He said the fish needs to do this for its body to be able to move and feed again.
“[May characteristic siya na mag-expose sa araw] para ma-regulate niya ang body temperature niya at gumanda ang sistema niya para makalangoy ulit at makakain ng maayos kaya from time to time nagsu-surface siya at kailangan niyang magpainit. Isang dahilan din siguro kaya siya nagsurface ay baka may naramdaman siyang hindi maganda kasi prone din sa parasite infestation itong ocean sunfish kaya baka na-disorient pero after a while naka-recover din siya,” Fabello explained.