The idea of the Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network was born during an inter-agency meeting and workshop on marine mammals at Subic Bay in 2003. Then in 2005, the very first National Marine Mammal Stranding Response Training Workshop was held at Ocean Adventure. Since then, more than 100 workshops have been conducted all over the country, with over 4,000 persons trained on cetacean emergency first response and the medical management of stranded marine mammals. They have become members of the various PMMSN chapters organized throughout the Philippines. On October 11, 2013, at the 1st National Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network Symposium, members of the network signed the organization’s COVENANT.
We, the Incorporators, Board of Directors, and members of the PMMSN are committed to supporting and advancing the goals of PMMSN as stated in the following:
- Develop the capability on a national, regional and local level to respond to every stranded marine mammal for rescue, release and/or rehabilitation.
- Standardize and systematically collect data regarding marine mammal strandings, alive or dead.
- Collate all data on stranding events nationwide and submit to the PMMSN Database.
- Educate the public, particularly coastal inhabitants, on the importance of marine mammal conservation.
- Promote and participate in research and conservation activities concerning marine mammal strandings and marine mammals in general.
- Empower and develop the capability of pertinent governmental organizations, the private sector, and the PMMSN chapters to organize and implement marine mammal stranding response.
We are all concerned about the protection, conservation and management of the marine environment and the animals that inhabit it. We support the One World Health view in recognition of the importance of marine mammals as valuable sentinels of ocean and human health. We recognize our shared responsibility to assist marine mammals in distress, and to make our best efforts to care for and protect them from needless suffering.
We are committed to carrying out our mission as first responders, rehabilitators, and providers of medical care with the highest degree of skill and expertise and to continually raise the bar of best practices in stranding response. We are committed to addressing difficult issues in decision-making including the humane euthanasia of animals suffering with no hope of recovery.
We recognize that every stranding event is a valuable opportunity to raise public awareness on the importance of marine mammals and to motivate individuals and communities to respect, protect, and conserve our precious marine resources. We are committed to ensuring that every stranding event is an opportunity to gather critical information and biological data that contributes to the advancement of scientific knowledge of marine mammals and the marine environment.
We urge our government agencies to address the issues set forth in this covenant with appropriate and consistent laws and directives in order to support the goals of the PMMSN.