03 November 2014

Marine Mammal Stranding Network holds 2nd nat'l symposium

The Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network, Inc. (PMMSN) recently conducted its 2nd national symposium at the Camayan Beach Resort and Hotel here with a theme “Empowerment of members by promoting best practices in stranding response, research and repository".

The conference was attended by 70 participants from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Local Government Units, media practitioners and private sector nationwide.

According to Lemnuel V. Aragones, president of PMMSN, the convention is a great platform to empower the members by educating one another through sharing of knowledge, best practices and experiences and imbibing a participatory process to building consensus.

"We are pushing for more support on efforts towards the major aspects of our network particularly on stranding response, information education and communication, governmental and policy issues and research and collaboration," Aragones said.

Meanwhile, Atty. Asis G. Perez, BFAR director, said the seminar is timely and relevant in giving more complete information on the stranding response technicians in making good judgment on the conservation of marine mammals in the Philippines.

He also stressed the need to educate the public and, particularly coastal inhabitants, on the importance of marine mammal conservation because "an empty stomach knows no law".

Likewise, Gail Laule of Ocean Adventure and vice president of PMMSN said that by giving environmental education to people, we will have greater chances of changing public attitudes and ultimately garner public support to avert marine mammal stranding.

"It is our responsibility to raise public awareness on the importance of marine mammals and to motivate individuals and communities to respect, protect and conserve our marine resources," she added.

"We already have formal Memorandum of Agreement with BFAR Regional Offices 1, 2, 5,8, 11 and 13 and hope to get all the other regions on this as the MOA binds all of our goals and aspirations," Aragones added. (ALM/SRA/PIA2)