Marine Mammal FAQ’s
1. What are marine mammals ?
“Marine mammals” is a collective term pertaining to animals that have the following characteristics: (a) air breathing (b) warm-blooded (endothermic) vertebrates (c) have hair (for whales and dolphins these are just a few hairs around the upper jaw present at birth) (d) feed their young with milk produced by mammary glands of the female (e) rely mainly on aquatic habitats for their food (f) have evolved anatomical features and physiological adaptations to live in the aquatic environment.
2. What are marine mammals of the Philippines?
Marine mammals of the Philippines comprise of 29 cetacean species and 1 sirenian (Aragones et al. 2013, 2017, 2022; Aragones and Laggui, 2019 – see resource center for links).
- Delphinus delphis (common dolphin)
- Feresa attenuata (pygmy killer whale)
- Globicephala macrorhynchus (short-finned pilot whale)
- Grampus griseus (Risso’s dolphin)
- Lagenodelphis hosei (Fraser’s dolphin)
- Orcaella brevirostris (Irrawaddy dolphin)
- Orcinus orca (killer whale)
- Peponocephala electra (melon-headed whale)
- Pseudorca crassidens (false killer whale)
- Stenella attenuata (pantropical spotted dolphin)
- Stenella coeruleoalba (striped dolphin)
- Stenella longirostris (spinner dolphin)
- Steno bredanensis (rough-toothed dolphin)
- Tursiops aduncus (Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin)
- Tursiops truncates (bottlenose dolphin)
- Kogia breviceps (pygmy sperm whale)
- Kogia sima (dwarf sperm whale)
- Physeter macrocephalus (sperm whale)
Family Ziphiidae (beaked whales)
- Indopacetus pacificus (Longman’s beaked whale)
- Mesoplodon densirostris (Blainville’s beaked whale)
- Mesoplodon gingkodens (Gingko-toothed whale)
- Mesoplodon hotaula (Deraniyagala’s beaked whale)
- Ziphius cavirostris (Cuvier’s beaked whale)
Family Balaenopteridae (rorquals)
- Balaenoptera acutorostrata (common minke whale)
- Balaenoptera edeni (Bryde’s whale)
- Balaenoptera musculus (blue whale)
- Balaenoptera omurai (Omura’s whale)
- Balaenoptera physalus (fin whale)
- Megaptera novaeangliae (humpback whale)
- Dugong dugon (dugong)
3. What is PMMSN?
The Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network‘s (PMMSN) main objectives are to rescue, rehabilitate and release stranded marine mammals nationwide. It is a SEC registered non-profit organization established in October 2005 whose main member organizations include the DA-BFAR, Local Government Units (LGUs), UP Diliman’s Institute of Environmental Science & Meteorology (UPD IESM) and Ocean Adventure. The PMMSN’s core revolve in the 5 Rs: Rescue, Rehabilitation, Release/ Refloat, Repository and Research.
4. What are the relevant laws in the Philippines for marine mammal protection?
- Republic Act No. 9147: Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act
- Republic Act No. 8485: “The Animal Welfare Act of 1998”
- Republic Act No. 8550: “Fisheries Code of 1998”
- Fisheries Administrative Order No. 185 Series of 1992
- ban on the taking or catching, selling, purchasing, possessing, transporting and exporting of dolphins
- Fisheries Administrative Order No. 185-1 Series of 1997
- amending sections 1 and 2 of FAO No. 185 by adding whales and porpoises
- Fisheries Administrative Order No. 208 Series of 2001
- conservation and rare, threatened and endangered fishery species