SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – The presence of killer whales in the coastal waters of the municipality of Libertad in Antique is an indication of good biodiversity in the area.
Around nine killer whales were spotted by a group of divers on May 31 this year.
Libertad Municipal Mayor Mary Jean Te, in an interview on Thursday, said the killer whales or Orcinus orca, spotted by personnel of the DiveGurus Boracay on their coast, are migratory and a clear indication that their coastal water has rich marine resources.
“The killer whales could have sailed towards the area because of biodiversity,” she said, adding their Bantay Dagat has been strictly patrolling the coastal waters to ensure its protection.
“We have no illegal fishing activities because our Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Management Council (FARMC) is in place,” she said.
The FARMC members immediately report to the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) or to her office any illegal fishing activity or encroaching incident.
Meanwhile, Libertad MAO Fisheries staff Eda Antonette Unlayao, in a separate interview, said it was the first time that killer whales were spotted on their coastal waters.
“The killer whales must have been attracted on the area as their feeding ground,” she said.
Since 1998 they had been establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) in the barangays where fishing is prohibited to allow fishes to thrive.
“Oftentimes we could spot Hammerhead Whale and Treasure Shark in the area because they were feeding on the fishes in the MPAs,” she said.
She added that from 1998 to 2003, MPAs were established in coastal barangays of Pusio, Tinigbas, Union, Taboc, Barusbus, Bulanao, Pajo, and San Roque, which are also along Antique’s Tuna Highway. (PNA)