Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 End of Year Note

Myself (3rd from left) and my working group during the IUCN Red List Assessment Training (Aug'13)

This year seems to be passing by in lightning speed to me. I started it as an independent researcher, determined to get back to being a cetologist after more than a year’s dabbling in another conservation field (which proved to be a good learning experience). I remember most of the details vividly, and I am grateful for most, if not all, of the experience I have had in 2013 as a cetologist and marine tourism analyst.  Here, I’d like to share it all with you, but particularly with myself, as a reminder that dreams do come true when you mean it. 

From a timid beginning (almost a month of void transition, not sure of the first step I should do as a full-time cetologist), I had a massive jump-start when I was invited to the 1st Southeast Asian Marine Mammal Stranding Network Symposium and the Marine Mammal Stranding Response Workshop in Subic Bay in the Philippines (4-9 February 2013). I was reunited with Yanti Purnomo, Sekar Mira, Danielle Kreb and Efin Muttaqin. I was also reunited with Lindsay Porter and met for the first time in my life Grant Abel and Nimal Fernando from Ocean Park Hong Kong (the three of them were to be very instrumental in my developing the Indonesian stranding network). Most importantly, I learned for the first time the proper ways of conducting stranding rescue and the importance of veterinary science and necropsy in stranding management.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

An ode to a finless porpoise

The by-caught finless porpoise in Paloh, West Kalimantan (photo: WWF Indonesia)

I have one wish at the moment. I wish I knew the ancient prayers of the Maori in New Zealand or the Native North Americans in the Arctic circles. For I would be able to chant a prayer to a particular finless porpoise who died last Sunday (13/10/13), by-caught by a fisher in Paloh, West Kalimantan. The finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides), very likely female and pregnant, was by-caught on Sunday afternoon and was about to be sold to the market when my WWF friends (led by Dwi Suprapti, DVM) intervened and asked the fisher to let the porpoise go. The fisher did, and thus we have our Code 2 carcass for the November stranding workshop in Bali.

Dwi (and her WWF team) and I (and my team) have been on alert for the last few months since I asked her assistance to obtain a Code 2 carcass for the stranding workshop. The alert went to Red level when a few weeks ago Dwi et al. obtained a finless porpoise carcass, also from Paloh. But the carcass was already Code 4, such that it would be ‘a smelly soup inside’ when opened, as my vet friend Nimal told me. Turned out, the Paloh harbour folks also agreed that the animal was already very smelly; they asked us to ditch the carcass from their fridge (er, yes, we did put the carcass for a bit in their refrigerator...). So, no carcass to examine. Not that I was sad about it, I had no intention in examining a Code 4 carcass either...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Biography Of A Blue Whale, Told Through Ear Wax (National Geographic article)

My friend Sheyka Nugraheni has a knack in collecting cool articles online. She often posts them on her Facebook. To make those articles available online for non FB users (or those who are not our, well, FB friends), I will start copy paste the articles here. Starting with this first one from National Geographic, written by Ed Yong. I'm particularly interested in this article because it shows how we can understand life history of a whale from a stranded specimen. You can also read the full article here.

Thanks a lot, Sheyka!

Blue whale earplug, extracted from a dead individual. Credit: Michelle Berman- Kowalewskic, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara, nationalgeographic.com

Biography Of A Blue Whale, Told Through Ear Wax
by Ed Yong

A few years ago, Stephen Trumble contacted the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and asked if they had some earwax from a blue whale.

They did.

In 2007, a large ship travelling off the coast of California collided with a male blue whale, ending its life at the tender age of 12. It was one of three similar strikes that year. The animal’s 21 metre carcass washed up on the beach, and scientists from the local museum examined and dissected it with machetes and excavators. They collected several tissues and organs, including a 25-centimetre tube of earwax.

Earplugs are common to blues and other large whales like fins and humpbacks. They are similar to the ones in your ears, although obviously much bigger. Each is an oily build-up of wax and fats that accumulates through the whale’s life. “It looks like a long candlestick that’s been beat up a bit,” says Sascha Usenko, Trumble’s colleague at Baylor University. “It’s not appealing-looking.”

Monday, September 16, 2013

Registration form and blurbs for the 1st National Indonesian Marine Mammal Stranding Workshop

Apologies for the slooowwwhh update. August and September (make it July as well) have been impossibly busy. 

But at least now I can update you about the 1st National Indonesian Marine Mammal Stranding Workshop. The registration form is finally available here (deadline 15 October 2013). The program blurbs can be read at the Southeast Asian Marine Mammal Stranding Network SEAMMSN website. Herewith I also give you the blurbs:

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Definition for residency or site fidelity

Below is the working definition of residency or site fidelity of marine mammals compiled by Aine O’Shea, a member of the international MARMAM mailing list, posted on 13 July 2013. Thanks a lot Aine for allowing me to post the article in its entirety on my blog! If you want to contact Aine directly, her email is osheaine@gmail.com.

Aine's compilation helps my thoughts on the residency patterns of small cetaceans in Lovina (pix by myself)

Following a request I submitted to MARMAM last week regarding a definition for residency / site fidelity, I have received some information which I would like to share with the MARMAM site.  

- It varies and there is no standard definition

- The term "site fidelity" is borrowed from studies of terrestrial taxa, and in many cases those animals (whether they're mammals, lizards etc.) have very narrow ranges and/or territories that are easily defined.  This isn't the case with most cetaceans

- Residency is in the eye of the beholder

Update on November workshop & stranding events

A short update for the November stranding workshop. The workshop is now titled “The 1st National Indonesian Marine Mammal Stranding Workshop”. It’s still from Monday, 25 November to Thursday, 28 November 2013. However, 25 November event starts with dinner and opening ceremony by the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries during dinner. Hence we recommend participants to arrive by Monday, 25 November late morning or afternoon, instead of Sunday, 24 November.

Registration form is still being finalised, so is the invitation letter. We hope to put the registration form online by late next week. Also, we hope to put the tentative schedule online by the end of August. The rough idea is: Day One for 1st Responder workshop and training, Day Two for vet and bycatch lectures, and Day Three for vet lectures and necropsy demo (see below).

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

1st National Marine Mammal Stranding Training Workshop (Bali, 25-28 November 2013)

The 1st National Marine Mammal Stranding Training Workshop for Indonesia will be conducted in Sanur, Bali on 25-28 November 2013. The training programme is organised by the Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center, Ocean Park Hong Kong and the University of St Andrews Scotland, endorsed by the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia and supported by Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong, the South East Asian Marine Mammal Stranding Network, World Wildlife Fund Indonesia and the International Whaling Commission.

The workshop will be conducted in English (with Indonesian translation), for participants from Indonesia and the Asian region.   Day One will be dedicated to 1st responder training, which will train people how to rescue live stranded marine mammals. The remaining days of the workshop will focus on the veterinary aspects and fishing gear entanglement aspect of stranding events. Hands-on necropsy demo is optional upon the availability of a Code 2 carcass (fresh dead).

Registration will be open from 1st August 2013. Funding for some participants is available (details tba). For further information, contact Putu Liza Mustika (‘Icha’) at putu.liza@my.jcu.edu.au or +62 821 4755 2611.

Update 6 August 2013:
Click this for the November workshop updates (including possible necropsy demo)

Lokalatih Nasional Mamalia Laut Terdampar I Indonesia (Bali, 25-28 November 2013)

Lokalatih Nasional Mamalia Laut Terdampar I di Indonesia akan dilaksanakan di Sanur, Bali pada tanggal 25-28 November 2013. Program pelatihan ini diorganisir oleh Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center, Ocean Park Hong Kong dan University of St Andrews Scotland. Program ini didukung oleh Kementrian Kelautan dan Perikanan Indonesia, Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong, South East Asian Marine Mammal Stranding Network, WWF Indonesia dan International Whaling Commission.

Bahasa pengantar pada lokalatih ini adalah bahasa Inggris dengan terjemahan. Peserta berasal dari Indonesia dan kawasan Asia. Hari pertama adalah tentang pelatihan 1st responder (penanggap pertama), yaitu bagaimana menyelamatkan mamalia laut yang terdampar hidup. Hari kedua-keempat akan dititikberatkan pada aspek kedokteran hewan dan kejadian terjerat alat tangkap. Praktikum nekropsi akan dilakukan jika ada karkas Kode 2 (mati segar).

Registrasi akan dibuka dari tgl 1 Agustus 2013. Ada kemungkinan pendanaan untuk beberapa peserta (informasi menyusul). Untuk informasi lebih lanjut, silakan kontak Putu Liza Mustika (‘Icha’) di putu.liza@my.jcu.edu.au atau +62 821 4755 2611.

Friday, July 12, 2013

OMG... another mass dolphin watching in Kiluan Bay, Lampung...

Just a shortie because I seem to have very little time to write these days...

But I just found a very new YouTube video (dated 10 June 2013) on a mass dolphin watching tourism in Kiluan Bay, Lampung. Click this link to watch:

Seems to be a very interesting place to conduct a Lovina-like project there to measure its sustainability, see what people think about the industry, and also to count the economic benefit to the locals...

PS, rather OT: Blogger users, if you have a problem posting YT videos on your new blogs, try use old embedded code, and make sure you post it on HTML format...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Kupang Marine Mammal Stranding Workshop and Training

The Kupang team in action, Lasiana Beach
The next marine mammal stranding training was conducted in Kupang, 4-5 June 2013, for East Nusa Tenggara. It was attended by about 25 people, slightly less than Bali participants. However, we received some important insights from the training. 

We didn’t get our HK counterparts to come to Kupang this time, hence Februanty Purnomo, Sekar Mira and myself became the full-time mentor. I am pleased to report that we conducted our first independent training successfully, despite the absence of Grant Abel, Lindsay Porter and Nimal Fernando (they still helped tho, with online comments). I am also pleased to report that Sarminto Hadi and Miasto Yudha of KKJI MMAF are now ready to be mentors for the next trainings. They know the drill already, and they know what it takes to play the game.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Bali marine mammal stranding workshop and training

Hands-on demo with the Bali govt and NGOs (photo: Lindsay Porter)

This post is almost a month late, but better late than never. The Bali marine mammal stranding workshop and training was conducted on 1 and 2 May 2013 as a response to the decisions made at national level that several nodal workshops and trainings should be conducted in Indonesia. Four sites are scheduled for 2013: Denpasar (Bali), Kupang (East Nusa Tenggara), Pangandaran (West Java) and Balikpapan (East Kalimantan). We have Bali on 1-2 May. I will travel to Kupang this Sunday for the 4-5 June gig. West Java will be on 3-4 July, and East Kalimantan will be 3-4 September. 

The Bali workshop and training was initiated by the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries. I was helping the workshop as a consultant to Conservation International Indonesia. The Ministry invited Dr Lindsay Porter from the University of St Andrews and Mr Grant Abel from Ocean Park Hong Kong to assist us with the first responder aspects. The Ministry also invited Nimal Fernando, DVM from Ocean Park Hong Kong to assist with the veterinary components of the workshop and training. On top of that, I was assisted by Sekar Mira from LIPI (the Indonesian Science Institute) and Februanty Purnomo (Jakarta-based marine mammalogist), both of whom also accompanied me to Subic Bay (see this post too). Overall, we had a good, solid team who helped each other based on our unique capacities we bring onto the table.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Jakarta Post article on the Bali stranding workshop and training (1-2 May 2013)

Below is the The Jakarta Post article on the Bali stranding workshop and training (1-2 May 2013). Thanks to Desy Nurhayati for the article and to Pariama Hutasoit for helping us out with the media. 

The Bali team before the training (thanks to Sanur Beach Hotel for letting us using the pool)

Sea mammal rescue network established

by Desy Nurhayati on 2013-05-03 
The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry established a task force to address incidents of stranded sea mammals.

Tony Ruchimat, ministry director for conservation area and fish species, said establishing the network was crucial to speed up the rescue of stranded sea mammals and to ensure species were handled correctly.

“Based on previous incidents, fifteen percent of stranded sea mammals were found alive and could be saved. However, sluggish and inappropriate responses could cause the rescue effort to fail,” he said during his presentation at a two-day workshop to establish the taskforce.

“Therefore, we need a network or task force, as well as commitment from the related stakeholders to enhance rescue efforts.”

Members of the task force include individuals from the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry, the marine police, navy, as well as NGOs, dive operators, life guards, marine experts, research agencies, university and volunteers.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Barry Brook & Corey Bradshaw's tips on 'How to Write a Scientific Paper'

My former supervisor Prof Helene Marsh pointed out this excellent 2012 blog post by Dr Corey Bradshaw, a paper-production 'machine' who has authored and co-authored God knows too many papers. I think it's a very interesting article, such that I need to post it here for you guys, and also just in case Corey thinks of shutting down his blog one day (nah, unlikely!). I met Corey in New Zealand in December 2011 and I know, any tips from him is equal to gold. 

Thanks Helene for the email and Corey for the great post! The Indonesian translation is coming soon.

Turns out, graphs and tables ARE important for papers (read below). Pic Courtesy of PhdComics

Below is the blog article by Dr Barry Brook and Dr Corey Bradshaw, posted on Bradshaw's Conservation Byte in 2012. Enjoy!

by Corey Bradshaw
22 10 2012 

Several years ago, my long-time mate, colleague and co-director, Barry Brook, and I were lamenting how most of our neophyte PhD students were having a hard time putting together their first paper drafts. It’s a common problem, and most supervisors probably get their collective paper-writing wisdom across in dribs and drabs over the course of their students’ torment… errhm, PhD. And I know that every supervisor has a different style, emphasis, short-cut (or two) and focus when writing a paper, and students invariably pick at least some of these up.

But the fact that this knowledge isn’t innate, nor is it in any way taught in probably most undergraduate programmes (I include Honours in that list), means that most supervisors must bleed heavily on those first drafts presented to them by their students. Bleeding is painful for both the supervisor and student who has to clean up the mess – there has to be a better way.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Jakarta Expat article

It's been a busy April, such that I haven't got time to post an article. But all is for the better good, for we are going to hold a stranding workshop and training on 1-2 May in Sanur Bali. 'We' as in the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Conservation International (including myself), WWF and a bunch of other cool stakeholders. Will definitely post the news and photographs after the event is done. 

Meanwhile, if you have time (or just being curious), you can have a read at Grace Susetyo's interview of myself at the Jakarta Expat about the cetaceans in Indonesia. Click here or 'read more'  to read the whole article.

Caring for the Sentinels of the Deep
by Grace Susetyo

Much of Indonesia’s seas are being “watched over” by friendly creatures whose underwater singing and dancing never cease to melt the human heart: some 30 species of cetaceans (whales and dolphins). North Bali’s whale watching industry is reported to generate about US$4.1 million per year, or about 40% of the incomes of local hotels in Lovina. But despite Indonesia’s millions of square-kilometres of territorial waters, cetacean conservation has hardly been on top of Indonesia’s agenda.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Latest update from the national stranding network

It was approaching 9 pm, and we were still in the meeting room in Bogor

Being a developing country with one of the longest coastlines in the world, myriad human activities and about 35 species of cetaceans and one species of sirenian, Indonesia is a country with high risk of stranding events. Data from www.whalestrandingindonesia.com showed 102 stranding events since 2000-2012; about half of them were unidentified species. Considering Indonesia’s coastline length (over 80,000 km) this number is more likely to be an underestimation than an overestimation. However, until late 2012, Indonesia had no national stranding committee or any action plans to mitigate, reduce or manage stranding events. The stranding of 48 short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) in East Nusa Tenggara Province was a wake-up call for the government to work on the overdue stranding protocol and network. In November 2012, the Ministry of Marine and Fisheries Affairs officially formed a national committee to compose the national stranding protocol and establish the national stranding network. 

On Thursday, 21 March 2013 (after 1.5 days of long meeting in Bogor, hauled till past 9pm...), the national committee has finished the last stranding protocol meeting which produced the final draft of the protocol. The protocol will be published in April 2013 and will be distributed to all provinces in the country. At the same meeting, the committee also discussed the organizational structure of the national stranding network. The national structure will have five sections: 1) data and information; 2) science; 3) live-rescue; 4) post-mortem investigation; and 5) policy recommendations. The live-rescue section will coordinate local stranding networks around the Archipelago. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The 3rd Southeast Asian Marine Mammal Symposium (and the importance of having a group to call your own)

Participants of the 3rd SEAMAM symposium in Langkawi (pic by Suwat Jutapruet)

I’m a cetologist, and I’m proud of what I’m doing for a living. However, I do have to say that getting funding for mainly marine mammal works is not always straightforward. Nowadays, I still have to do other works (still inside the compound of marine conservation) to stabilise my micro-finance, while also getting $$ for the cetacean works I always want to do. Often, I felt lonely and a bit desperate because of that. I’m one of Indonesia’s very few cetologists, but expanding this ‘business’ seems to be a very hard endeavour. With the dimming ‘glamour’ of species-based conservation since the last decade and the shifting towards ecosystem-based management (EBM), experts on migratory mega fauna species around the world are striving to fit their species of interest into the whole EBM scheme. Whether attaching it to Marine Protected Area, fisheries, climate change issues, etc, anything that will make the conservation of migratory mega fauna species still making sense in the EBM era.  It can work... but really, I cannot say it has been a stroll in the park. 

Most of the time, I felt like doing this all alone. Yes, I do have some friends scattered around Indonesia (in the Marine Mammal Indonesia mailing list we created in 2004), but our conversations have been up and down (which means that I didn’t do my job as the moderator properly). I do connect with them, and I do share similar dreams with them.  But I still couldn't shake off the feeling of doing this alone without any significant support from outside world.

‘Thank God’ for the 48 short finned pilot whales that stranded in Sabu in October last year. I know, it sounds awful and I don’t mean it that way. What I meant is that finally the government realised the importance of pushing forward marine mammal conservation, by way of stranding management. I started to join the national discussions on stranding protocols last December, and started to feel like I can really use my brain for the animals I love the most: the whales and the dolphins.  

Going to Subic Bay (Philippines) last month (4-9 Feb) to learn about stranding management was another refreshing change. I met many passionate stranding rescuers and veterinarians from at least seven countries (Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, China Mainland and HK, Malaysia and Cambodia). I had a lot of discussions about how to improve the Indonesia stranding network with my fellow Indonesian delegates (Sekar Mira, Februanty Purnomo, Efin Muttaqin, and Danielle Kreb – who is a Dutch lady, but might as well a local with her Samarinda accent!). Subsequently, I then became a part of the committee to form/organise the SE Asian stranding network.  I started to feel like I’m part of something bigger than my own fear (of not being able to be a full time cetologist). 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The importance of stretcher, mattress and necropsy for stranding cases

The Indonesia team in Subic Bay. L to R: Efin Muttaqin, myself, Yanti Purnomo, Danielle Kreb and Sekar Mira

I’ve been meaning to write a post about the lessons I received after attending a stranding symposium and workshop in the Philippines last February. However, February has been crazily busy for me (happy busy, not sad busy), so I never got to it. Some comments from Philippe Borsa on the Sabu stranding event today sent me to my working desk now (In fact, I woke up this morning with a mind to write a post about necropsy; Philippe beat me to it with his/her constructive feedback). So, here’s thanks to Philippe.

This post should be subtitled: ‘Or, why you better attend a stranding workshop before claiming you know about stranding’. Mostly, it refers to myself rather than others. For that was really what I felt when I attended the 1st Southeast Asian Stranding Network Symposium and Workshop in Subic Bay (3 hours north of Manila), Philippines from 4-9 February 2013. I felt like hiding under the table during some country presentations. Thank God for the Whale Stranding Indonesia website, otherwise I – as a delegate from Indonesia – would feel so hopeless due to the lack of success story from my country.  Actually, the WSI website was such a hit that people tend to disregard that Indonesia is still very new with this stranding business. We are still writing up our stranding protocol (looking specifically at a friend of mine who have to finish her round-robin part...), and we are still figuring out how to structure our national stranding network. But still, better late than never.

Now, the title of this post refers to the three most important things I should have realised, but did not, about stranding management (those are not the only important things, trust me). The stretcher and necropsy things I know – kinda, but never realised the full importance of the two aspects. The mattress is a new thing to me, such that I realised that I really have to understand more about the biology of cetaceans and dugongs. And I call myself a cetologist. Sigh.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Feresa attenuata vs Kogia sima (versi Indonesia)

This article is the Indonesian version of an article about a stranding event in Bali (19 Feb'13). Click this to read the English version.

Cetacean misterius yang terdampar di Bali (19 Feb'13). Untuk ke depannya, sebuah matras atau alas empuk harus diletakkan di antara badan hewan dan jukung untuk menghindari stress tambahan pada hewan

Dewan juri telah memutuskan! Tim dewan juri yang terdiri dari Danielle Kreb, Benjamin Kahn, Randall Reeves, Robert Pitman, John Wang, Charles W. Potter dan Thomas Jefferson setuju bahwa mamalia laut yang diduga sebagai ‘Feresa attenuata’ yang terdampar di Sanur (Bali) pada tanggal 19 Feb 2013 merupakan Kogia sima (dwarf sperm whale). Sebelum ada yang mikir-mikir tentang koteklema (Physeter macrocephalus) yang berukuran segede bagong itu, ini saya beritahu: yang dimaksud Kogia sima itu bukan versi kecilnya sperm whale dewasa. Kogia sima dan Physeter macrocephalus adalah dua spesies yang berbeda, walaupun mereka memang termasuk superfamili Physeteroidea.

Teman baik saya Naneng Setiasih pernah berkata bahwa ilmuwan bisa melakukan kesalahan. Yang ilmuwan (atau ilmuwati) tidak boleh lakukan adalah berbohong. Apa yang seorang ilmuwan lakukan saat dia menyadari kesalahannya adalah berkata jujur bahwa dia memang melakukan kesalahan. Karena teringat apa kata teman saya itu, saya tulis artikel ini. Saya ingin mengatakan bahwa saya salah melakukan identifikasi spesies.

Di sini saya juga ingin berbagi mengapa saya sampai bisa berpendapat hewan yang terdampar itu adalah Feresa attenuata (pygmy killer whale) dan bukannya Kogia sima (dwarf sperm whale). Saya juga ingin berbagi tentang apa yang seharusnya saya lakukan untuk menghindari salah-identifikasi dan pembelajaran yang telah saya peroleh. Di bawah ini juga ada beberapa petunjuk untuk membedakan kedua spesies tersebut sehingga anda tidak perlu mengulangi kesalahan yang sama.

Feresa attenuata vs Kogia sima

Ini adalah versi bahasa Inggris untuk artikel tentang pembelajaran kejadian terdampar di Sanur Bali (19 Feb'13). Klik link ini untuk versi Indonesia-nya.

The mysterius cetacean stranded in Bali (19 Feb'13). For future stranding cases, a mattress should be inserted between the body and the boat  to prevent more stress to the animal

The verdict is out! A team of online juries consisting of Danielle Kreb, Benjamin Kahn, Randall Reeves, Robert Pitman, John Wang, Charles W. Potter and Thomas Jefferson agreed that the suspect ‘Feresa attenuata’ stranded in Sanur (Bali) on 19 Feb 2013 was more likely to be Kogia sima (dwarf sperm whale). And before anyone conjures up the image of the great sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), I’d like to say that, No, this is not the small version of that sperm whale. They are two different species altogether, although they do belong to the superfamily of Physeteroidea.

My good friend Naneng Setiasih once said that a scientist can make mistakes. What a scientist should not do is lying. What a scientist must do when he/she realised the mistake is to come clean. I always remember that, particularly now. Hence, I am writing this post to come clean. I mis-identified the animal; I thought it was something else, and it was not.

Here, I’d also like to share why I thought it was Feresa attenuata (pygmy killer whale) instead of Kogia sima (dwarf sperm whale), what I should have done to avoid mis-identification, and lessons learned. Included under the cut is some guidance to differentiate the two animals, so that others won’t repeat my mistake.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Live-stranding of a dwarf sperm whale 19 Feb 13

Ini adalah versi bahasa Inggris untuk kejadian terdampar di Sanur (19 Feb 2013). Klik link ini untuk versi Indonesia-nya.

Surfers and local boys of Sanur trying to save the animal

We had a stranding event of a (suspect) pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata ) dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima) this morning in Sanur, Bali (19 Feb 2013). One animal, stranded twice. First at 7am, where the local surfers and beach boys herded the animal back to the deeper water. At 9am, the same animal returned to the same place. This time, the locals and the surfers loaded the poor thing into a jukung and went to deeper water to release it. May it roams safely out there at sea and will never strand again. Approximate body length: 2 m.

I learned of this news from Benjamin Kahn, who got the heads up from Femke JAAN (Thanks Ben and Femke for the heads up!). I arrived in Semawang Sanur around 11 am. Together with Pariama Hutasoit who arrived before me, we collected the above information. I obtained the pictures from a Japanese surfer girl (Nunome Jun-san) who took the photographs and helped the rescue. All photo credit is to Jun-san (Jun-san, arigatou zonjimasu!).

I'm concerned with the many wounds on its body. I’ve sent the pictures to a vet friend of mine for expert opinion. 

Dwarf sperm whale terdampar hidup di Sanur, Bali (19 Feb 2013)

This is the Indonesian version of a stranding event in Sanur (19 Feb 2013). Click here for the English version.

Penduduk lokal Semawang Sanur berusaha menyelamatkan si hewan

Seekor paus pembunuh kerdil (dugaannya adalah pygmy killer whale – Feresa attenuata) dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima) terdampar pagi ini di Sanur, Bali. Dua kali terdampar: jam 7 pagi dan jam 9 pagi. Pada jam 7 pagi si binatang diselamatkan dengan cara menggiringnya kembali ke laut dalam dengan sekoci. Jam 9 pagi, si hewan balik lagi. Kali ini, beach boys dan surfer di Sanur mengangkat hewan tersebut ke dalam jukung dan melepaskannya ke laut lepas. Semoga dia selamat dan tidak terdampar lagi.  Panjang tubuh sekitar 2 m.
 Saya mengetahui berita ini dari Benjamin Kahn yang mendapat kabar dari Femke JAAN (Thanks Ben and Femke for the heads up!). Saya tiba di lokasi sekitar pukul 11 siang. Bersama dengan Pariama Hutasoit yang sudah terlebih dahulu tiba di tempat, kami memperoleh informasi di atas. Untuk foto, akhirnya saya dapat dari Miss Nunome Jun, surfer Jepang yang juga membantu rescue pagi hari ini. Semua sumber foto dari Jun-san (domo arigatou zonjimasu!).

Saya rada kuatir dengan luka-luka di sekujur tubuhnya. Saya sudah kirim foto2 ini ke rekan vet saya untuk pendapat ahlinya. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Jakarta Post today: Minister shuts down dolphin attraction

My colleague Benjamin Kahn forwarded me and others this interesting progress on the mass dolphin captivity in Indonesia.


A man and his dolphin: Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan rubs the snout of a bottlenose dolphin at Akame restaurant in Benoa. BD/Zul Trio Anggono

Amid mounting public pressure demanding the government to stop the exploitation of dolphins for entertainment, Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan finally caved in. On Wednesday afternoon, he visited Akame Dolphin Bay Restaurant, a tourist spot near Benoa Port, and announced that he would shut down its dolphin attraction. He ordered his staff to confiscate the dolphins and to immediately move them to the Dolphin Rehabilitation Center in Kemujan, Karimun Jawa.

“We will release them back into their natural habitat but we have to complete some observations before doing so,” Zulkifli said.

The floating restaurant, which is shaped like a ship and has a 130 square-meter pool in the middle, attracted hundreds of tourists who came to watch the dolphin show every day at the facility that was opened four months ago.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Indonesia whale stranding website is up and running!

It's been quite a while, but the Indonesia whale stranding website is finally up and running! Below is the URL:


It also has the Facebook page here! Please like us there!

Special thanks to Stefan Baier and Wong Ee Phin from Malaysia for the pro-bono hard work for the website (well, Stefan is from German actually, but he's now very comfy in KL). Another special gratitude is for Yanti S. Purnomo for data entry so far, and for all who have contributed to the data that makes up the whole website.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Perlukah memberi harga kepada sumber daya alam?

This article is the Indonesian translation of an older article titled ‘Do we need to put a price in natural resources?’ I wrote in September 2012. Happy New Year, by the way. May 2013 be beautiful, healthy, successful and peaceful for all of us.

Teman CI saya Matt Fox mengirimi saya artikel dari website Guardian ini yang ditulis oleh George Monbiot. Artikel tersebut membuat saya berpikir saat membuat judul artikel ini. Apa perlu kita menaruh price tag, harga untuk sumber daya alam? Dan juga, kenapa kita perlu memberi harga tersebut? Tidak bisakah kita membiarkan alam seperti apa adanya?
Dua tahun lalu saya akan setuju dengan Monbiot. Bahwa sepertinya kita tidak perlu menaruh harga pada hujan, pepohonan dan lumba-lumba; kok kayaknya gimana begitu. Tapi sekarang, walaupun saya kurang setuju dengan artikel tersebut, saya tetap merasa Monbiot ada benarnya.

Saya sebenarnya berharap yang sederhana saja, bahwa kita semua bisa hidup dengan alam dengan harmonis, seperti cara Zen. Saya inginnya adalah kebanyakan dari kita ada di tingkat kesadaran kita yang tertinggi, bahwa kita semua faham dan menghargai bahwa tiap mahluk di Bumi – bahkan di seluruh Semesta – saling berhubungan satu sama lain. Tapi sayangnya, tidak demikian ceritanya.

Saya cenderung setuju dengan valuasi sumber daya alam (yaitu: memberikan nilai kepada satu sumber daya alam tertentu), selama hal tersebut masuk akal. Tapi di sini triknya: saya bilang ‘memberikan nilai bagi sumber daya alam’, bukan ‘memberikan harga bagi sumber daya alam’.