Resource Center

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).

Family Delphinidae

  1. Delphinus delphis (common dolphin)
  2. Feresa attenuata (pygmy killer whale)
  3. Globicephala macrorhynchus (short-finned pilot whale)
  4. Grampus griseus (Risso’s dolphin)
  5. Lagenodelphis hosei (Fraser’s dolphin)
  6. Orcaella brevirostris (Irrawaddy dolphin)
  7. Orcinus orca (killer whale)
  8. Peponocephala electra (melon-headed whale)
  9. Pseudorca crassidens (false killer whale)
  10. Stenella attenuata (pantropical spotted dolphin)
  11. Stenella coeruleoalba (striped dolphin)
  12. Stenella longirostris (spinner dolphin)
  13. Steno bredanensis (rough-toothed dolphin)
  14. Tursiops aduncus (Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin)
  15. Tursiops truncates (bottlenose dolphin)

Family Kogiidae

16. Kogia breviceps (pygmy sperm whale)
17. Kogia sima (dwarf sperm whale)

Family Physeteridae

18. Physeter macrocephalus (sperm whale)

Family Ziphiidae (beaked whales)

19. Indopacetus pacificus (Longman’s beaked whale)
20. Mesoplodon densirostris (Blainville’s beaked whale)
21. Mesoplodon gingkodens (Gingko-toothed whale)
22. Mesoplodon hotaula (Deraniyagala’s beaked whale)
23. Ziphius cavirostris (Cuvier’s beaked whale)

Family Balaenopteridae (rorquals)

24. Balaenoptera acutorostrata (common minke whale)
25. Balaenoptera edeni (Bryde’s whale)
26. Balaenoptera musculus (blue whale)
27. Balaenoptera omurai (Omura’s whale)
28. Balaenoptera physalus (fin whale)
29. Megaptera novaeangliae (humpback whale)

Family Dugongidae

30. 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?

  • ban on the taking or catching, selling, purchasing, possessing, transporting and exporting of dolphins
  • amending sections 1 and 2 of FAO No. 185 by adding whales and porpoises
  • conservation and rare, threatened and endangered fishery species
Resource Center
Resource Center 2006

Shown here are local fishermen, whose help are instrumental in the success of any rescue effort and conservation campaign