Bruised dolphin aided back into the sea

BADOC, Ilocos Norte, June 25 — A rough-toothed dolphin (scientific name: Steno bredanensis) was released back to sea few hours after it was trapped in a fish net owned by a fisherman in Barangay Pagsanaan in this town last week. The marine mammal is an endangered specie.

Provincial Fishery Regulation Officer Arthur Valente said the dolphin weighed about 95 kilograms and bore minor scratch wounds on its dorsal fin.

“We immediately released the dolphin into the sea a few hours after its capture,” he said.

The specie can be found in deep warm and tropical waters around the world.

Valente advised fishermen to report immediately to his office when they accidentally catch any species of dolphin, which are mostly near extinction.

“Anyone caught taking and slaughtering dolphins will be charged in court for violating the country’s fishery laws,” he said.

Valente said he is conducting series of dialogues and consultations among fishermen and the coastal communities in the province to inform them of proper management each time they recover sea mammals.

“A fisherman who discovers (sea mammals) should report immediately to the designated ‘bantay dagat” agent in their area or report directly to our office,” he said.

The rough-toothed dolphin is a relatively large specie. An adult measures from 2.09 to 2.83 meters (6.9 to 9.3 ft) in length and weighs between 90 and 155 kilograms (200 and 340 lbs).

Its most visible characteristic feature is its conical head and slender nose. Other dolphins either have a shorter snout or a more visibly bulging melon on the forehead.

As the common name for the dolphin specie implies, the teeth are distinct having a roughened surface formed by numerous narrow irregular ridges.

The rough–toothed dolphin had been reported to have between 19 and 28 teeth in each quarter of the jaw. (Freddie G. Lazaro)