Dárlán Pálénciá Barcélón




Sorsogon City, – [01.12.16] – BFAR – Bikol is mulling  to conduct information drive on the protection, management and conservation of  the oarfish in the coastline communities of Albay West Coast Albay after a giant Oarfish [Regalecus glesne] measuring more or less five meters was washed ashore in Barangay Talin-Talin, Libon, Albay on December 10, 2016.

BFAR – Bikol Regional Director Dennis Del Socorro was quoted in an interview by GMA7 News on Monday urging local government units situated in Albay West Coast to strengthen their capacities on conservation and protection of these important species.

In the coastlines along the Burias Pass, local government units along this rich fishing ground, not a lot is known about the protection and conservation status of giant oarfish, because of high commercial value in the local market as it’s flabby and glutinous flesh is a among the favorite Bikolano delicacy.

In local market in Pio Duran, Albay, down to other public markets in the 3rd District of Albay, oarfish which  is locally called as “liwit” are being sold at a price of Php140.00 to Php160.00 per kilo – the high demand for consumption is among the threat to its dwindling population.

In the same vein, BFAR – Bikol Information Officer Nonie “Nonus” Enolva has also explained on the proper approach in handling trapped or stranded Whale sharks and Rays, by citing  a published book entitled, “Manual on Sharks and Rays” during the televised interview.

According to Enolva, she uses the manual as her guide in rescuing trapped sharks and rays including other giant sea creatures to include possible rescue of oarfish in the future.

The giant silvery fish "Oarfish" was found by residents of Talin-Talin in Libon town. Photo by Mark Edward Barotilla

The giant silvery fish “Oarfish” was found by residents of Talin-Talin in Libon town. Photo by Mark Edward Barotilla

The giant oarfish was found by residents of Talin-Talin in Libon town and has put the fishing village of Talin-Talin, Libon, Albay in the limelight again, due to the first incident, that a rare size of bony fish was seen in real time by the local folks.

This is the first recorded discovery of the giant silvery fish in Albay and probably in Bikol  region this year. Being the first, the rare occurrence the news has stirred different reactions from the social media netizens.

A certain netizen Levy Raynog Dagz Monasterial, has posted a comment with an apprehension basing on a folkloric belief in the vernacular; “Sabi nu ka work naku it brings bad luck… pag naglutaw sinra, kayun mangyayaring sakuna.” According to my officemate it brings bad luck, whenever they appear there will be a tragedy that going to happen.

Earlier, on January 8, 2016, a juvenile whale shark locally known as Butanding [Rhincodon typus] was also trapped in Pantao, Libon, Albay and was released back to the sea by the fisher folk on the same day.

The discovery of the giant oarfish is the latest local spectacular phenomenon in the shoreline of Albay West Coast, this year.

The discovery of the giant oarfish in Talin-Talin is an interesting vital signs to study and have an updated inventory of actual status the marine biodiversity of Albay West Coast.

Last January 28, 2015, a lifeless male Megamouth Shark [Megachasma Peligios] measuring 4.6 meters was also found in a fishing village of Marigondon, Pio Duran, Albay.

The one ton sea mammal is now on display inside the Albay Parks and Wildlife in Bogtong, Legazpi City.

Like the residents of Talin-Talin, some residents of Oceancide, California has also witnessed the same marvel when two rare oarfishes measuring 4.3 meters long washed up on the California beach on October 18, 2013.