Marine Environment

Giant and Reef Mobula Rays in the Philippines

Prior to June 2017, there were two species classified as genus Manta: Birostris and Alfredi. According to Marine Wildlife Philippines, the new taxonomy now classifies them as genus Mobula (White et al, 2017) as Mobula birostris and Mobula alfredi. Both mobula ray species are found in the Philippines, and are closely related to sharks, skates, and other rays. Collectively, they…

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Irrawaddy Dolphins in the Philippines

The Irrawaddy Dolphin belongs to the scientific family Delphinidae (marine dolphin), and Orcaella brevirostris species. Sir Richard Owen first identified the Irrawaddy Dolphin in 1866. It lives in shallow tropical and sub-tropical waters near coasts, and at the mouth of rivers or estuaries, land semi-enclosed lakes, bays, sounds and mangroves in Southeast Asian countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos,…


The Philippine Crocodiles

There are two crocodile species found in the Philippines – the Crocodylus porosus and the Crocodylus mindorensis.  The latter is the specie endemic to and found only in the Philippines. Crocodiles are called “Buwaya” in the Philippines. However, it is used interchangeably to mean either crocodile or alligator. The word “Buwaya” originates from the Proto-Austranesian word “Buqaya.” A. CROCODYLUS POROSUS is…


Oceana Report Exposes Thousands of Suspected Vessel Rendezvous at Sea

Oceana uses Global Fishing Watch data to highlight transshipping hotspots, countries and ports of interest. Oceana today released a report exposing the global scale of transshipping at sea, a practice that can mask illegal fishing practices and conceal human rights abuses. The report, which was released at The Economist’s World Ocean Summit in Bali, Indonesia, uses a new dataset released…


The Whale Shark we call Butanding

Description.  The Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) is a filter-feeding shark, very slow moving, and the largest known fish species in existence.  The largest confirmed Whale Shark had a length of 41.5 ft and a weight of 47,000 lbs according to Gerald L. Wood (1976) in The Guinness Book of Animal Facts and Feats. There are undocumented or unconfirmed claims of…


The Disappearing Dugong

The Dugong (Dugongidae) is the only strictly herbivorous marine mammal. It is one of four living species of the order Sirenia, which also includes three species of manatees. The Dugong is the only living mammal of the once-diverse family Dugongidae. Its closest relative, the Steller’s sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas), was hunted to extinction in the 18th century. Dugongs and other…


Rising Sea Level: A National Security Concern

The National Defense College of the Philippines defines national security as the state or condition where the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the people’s way of life and institutions are protected and enhanced. One of the predominant effects of climate change is rapid sea level rise. If sea level rise occurs, will it affect the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the Filipino’s…


World’s Largest Marine Protected Area in Antarctica’s Ross Sea

The Commission for the Conservation of Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) on Friday approved the creation of a New Zealand/United States proposal to establish the world’s largest Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Antarctica’s Ross Sea. The Agreement will enter into force on December 1, 2017. The Ross Sea Marine Protected Area covers 1.55 million square kilometers, of which 1.12 million square…


Climate Change in the Philippines and 9 selected Asian Countries

Climate Change is the long-term change in the earth’s global or regional climate patterns that began particularly in the mid to late 20th century and onwards.  Research attributes climate change largely to the increasing levels in the average atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil-based fuels by humans. It takes place in small gradual changes in temperature that…


The Humboldt Squid and Seatec Chile

The Humboldt is a large predatory squid living in the waters of the Humboldt Current in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. It is commonly called jumbo squid, jumbo flying, pota, or diablo rojo. The Humboldt Squid (specie Dosidicus gigas) is among the largest of squids, with a length exceeding 6 ft. and mass weight of up to 100 lbs. It has…


Philippine Forest Turtle

Marine Turtles and the Philippine Forest Turtle

Five of seven marine turtle species (Testudines) in the world can be found in the Philippines. These are the Green turtle, Hawksbill, Loggerhead, Olive Ridley, and the Leatherback. These sea turtles are commonly called “Pawikan” in the Philippines. The two other species not present in the Philippines are the Flatback (Natator depressus) and the Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) sea turtles….