Your favorite Taal Lake’s Tawilis is now endangered!
January 24th, 2019
Photo Credit: Flickr-Azrael Coladilla
Tawilis, or in its scientific name Sardinella Tawilis, the only fresh water sardines in the world, is now facing extinction.
“It was assessed as endangered, meaning to say, it is one step closer to extinction,” said the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The IUCN stressed that there has been a steady decline in the catch of fishermen of that commercial fish since the year 1998 due to deterioration of water quality in the Taal Lake. The International organization also gave full consciousness on other possible reasons such as illegal use of active fishing gears, overfishing, and increased number of fish cages.
Tawilis, a popularly served fried fish to tourists in Tagaytay City, has recorded a harvest decline of 50% over the ten years.
“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,” IUCN research found.
The study which was conducted last February 28, 2017 and published in 2018 said that there is an alarming threat to Tawilis population and it was continually hampered by pollution, competition with other species, overexploitation, and habitat degradation. The research concluded that the lake is being polluted with domestic waste, aquaculture feeds and even mismanaged tourism activities in Taal Lake.
IUCN urged both locals and tourists to conserve the endangered specie that is endemic to the Philippines.