- A research found that tawilis is close to facing extinction
- It has been declared as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
- However, there is still hope in terms of managing and conserving the lake
Tawilis or sardinella tawilis which can only be found in Taal Lake is now considered as endangered species. KAMI learned that this is due to over-exploitation, pollution, habitat degradation, and competition with other species as well as the use of illegal fish gears and cages in the Taal Lake.
In a report by CNN Philippines, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said that tawilis is close to extinction. They also noted that over the past 10 years, there have been a decline by at least 50 percent with the harvest of the tawilis.
"Fishing effort using illegal gears which target this species in the lake is increasing... So it is inferred that the population has declined, which qualifies it for 'Endangered' criterion," said the organization.
"With an increase in effort, it is likely that the population is declining faster than the catch, and we therefore infer that the population has declined by at least 50 percent,” they added.
The extinction of tawilis must serve as a “wake-up call” according to the report of Philippine Star. They also hope for the government to exert more efforts in implementing different laws to conserve and manage the lake.
“We should not allow tawilis to become critically endangered by doing nothing. There’s still hope, the management is doing something,” Dr. Mudjekeewis Santos of the National Academy of Science and Technology said.
Tawilis is usually enjoyed by the Filipinos when deep fried. It is also the most caught fish in the Taal Lake.
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We wondered... who would likely share their food: fortunate or less fortunate people? Those, who have enough or those who have one last piece? And the results were quite amazing. Check out our videos – on KAMI HumanMeter YouTube channel!