28 September 2010

Whale shark stranded in Subic

A small whale shark has been stranded at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone’s waters, marine scientists said on Monday.

The fish, also known as a butanding, was first spotted at the Boton Wharf last Thursday, according to Subic worker Arkilao Villacen.

Villacen, a crane operator, said he and his co-workers were waiting for a speedboat to arrive at the wharf when they saw the 5-meter-long whale shark.

He said he jumped from surprise because he thought it was a carnivorous shark.

Whale sharks are harmless and eat plankton and microscopic plants. They grow up to more than 12 meters long and are the largest living fish species.

Marine biologist Jonathaniel Apurado believes that the small whale shark came from the South China Sea and could have lost its way.

He expressed fears that the creature could be either injured or killed if it is hit by the propellers of ships and speedboats at Subic.

Apurado said the whale shark should return to the open ocean because Subic Bay’s waters do not have enough plankton to feed it.

He added that the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources will be informed about the creature. (Zyann Ambrosio, ABS-CBN News)

Photo courtesy of www.subictimes.com