BARANGAY GABI, where the body of a dead Sei whale species (Balaenoptera borealis) was spotted near the shore, plans to build a statue of the creature to serve as a constant reminder of the importance of marine resource protection. The 10.48-meter male whale was found floating off the village located in Gigantes Sur Island, which is part of the municipality of Carles. According to the report submitted by the town’s Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Office, the animal is likely to have been “in pursuit of target food” and got strangled by a rope of a moored boat’s anchor. “It was suspected that incident was a result of the animal’s pursuit of target food which presumed to be abundant in the near-shore areas or Gigantes Islands due to the implementation of the marine protected area and the continuous campaign against illegal fishing,” the report said. To prevent possible health hazards from the leakage of the whale’s decomposing body, barangay officials wrapped it in concrete mixture instead of burying it on the ground. The concrete will be used as a foundation for the planned monument. — Emme Rose S. Santiagudo