It is indeed their day!
A pod of 7 dolphins was spotted at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources - El Nido Managed Resource Protected Area (ENMRPA) in Palawan on International Coastal Cleanup Day, September 16.
The dolphins, which identification is still being determined as of press time, were seen by the ENMRPA team, personnel from the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) and volunteer divers while they were en route to the clean-up sites in the islands.
According to Park Operations Superintendent Mildred Suza, the presence of these marine mammals is a sign that their habitat is healthy and intact. Hence, the need for further research to identify and determine the population of the marine wildlife.
This is such a timely incidence as ICC gears towards concerted global efforts to protect the marine ecosystems. ICC is an international movement initiated in 1986 by The Ocean Conservancy (TOC). It aims to rally together communities to collect and document trash that litter the coastline. In the Philippines, Proclamation No. 470, s. 2003, designated the third Saturday in September as ICC Day to remind the Filipinos to stay vigilant in the crusade to free the oceans from trash and debris.
Meanwhile, DENR MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Felix Mirasol, Jr., expressed positivity on the rising number of dolphin sightings in El Nido, the latest of which was only in July of this year. In September 2020, Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphins were seen for the first time in El Nido. Another sighting was reported in 2021.
”It is a manifestation of the relentless efforts and synergy of our ENMRPA team, local government unit, volunteer divers and the community in taking care of our protected area,” the Director stated.
“I am excited to see these marine mammals myself as I look forward to strengthening the partnership between the DENR and the stakeholders in protecting El Nido and the rich biodiversity that thrives in the area,” he concluded. (Photos from ENMRPA)