Cetaceans face a variety of anthropogenic threats, and many species are currently endangered in the wild. The largest threat to this group is the fishing industry, which causes the death of approximately 300,000 whales and dolphins each year through fishing net entanglement. They are also threatened by noise pollution, as many species rely heavily on hearing. They are highly affected by climate change, as the composition of the ocean is changing with increased ice melts, and habitats are shifting dramatically.
26 of the world’s cetacean species have been confirmed in the Philippines, 18 of which have been identified in the Bohol Sea, making it the highest area of cetacean biodiversity in the country.
Characterized by a 2000-meter deep trench located less than 5 miles offshore, the Bohol Sea is the most direct deep passage connecting the Pacific Ocean and the Sulu Sea, and is a perfect corridor towards the South China Sea. The proximity of the deep oceanic waters close to shore makes it an incredibly important site for sightings of oceanic cetaceans species usually found much further off shore. Cetaceans seen passing through the Bohol sea (to name a few) include the blue whale, bryde’s whales, melon-headed whales, pygmy killer whales, dwarf sperm whales, rough-toothed dolphins, fraser’s dolphins, risso’s dolphins and spinner dolphins.
A long term conservation effort in the Bohol sea is essential to ensure the protection of these species that will improve both their survival and the sustainable welfare and livelihood of the local population. Find out more about our work with cetaceans here.