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Mar 14, 2017 @ 15:31

BFAR probes washing ashore of giant guitarfishes in Leyte

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is investigating the recent washing ashore of rare giant guitarfishes in Leyte.

Nelia Gabon-Tomayao, BFAR provincial office chief, said they are still clueless why the sea creatures were found in different parts of the province.

The BFAR official made the statement after a giant guitarfish died shortly after it was found by a fisherman in the shoreline of Dulag, Leyte on Saturday morning.

“People tried to save the dying fish by dragging it to the sea but it eventually died,” Tomayao said.

The giant fish was 10 feet long and weighed 100 kilograms. Its scientific name is Rhynchobatus djiddensis and known to locals as “Arado.”

The dorsal fins of the giant guitarfish were missing when the BFAR team arrived in Dulag town, she noted.

Last month, a giant guitarfish was also found dead in nearby Tanauan town.

“We really need to find out why this deep sea species were washed ashore in Leyte. This may be linked to destructive fishing,” Tomayao said.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature included the guitarfish on its red list due to the significant decline of its population as a result of “exploitation for its flesh and fins.” It is considered a “shy fish” usually found from two meters to 50 meters deep, inhabiting areas with sandy sea floor.(PNA)


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