DENR-Calabarzon urged the public to report establishments or restaurants selling tawilis. It warned the public that they may get stocks frozen since February.
DENR urges public to report restaurant’s selling tawilis
Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - April 13, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reminded the public yesterday that the closed fishing season for tawilis is strictly being enforced and will last until April 30.

DENR-Calabarzon urged the public to report establishments or restaurants selling tawilis. It warned the public that they may get stocks frozen since February.

Earlier, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) placed tawilis on the list of endangered species.

According to the IUCN, Sardinella tawilis is endemic to a single location in the Philippines – Taal Lake, Batangas.

Tawilis, which is also known by its common name Bombon sardine, is one of a few marine species trapped within the lake that has evolved into a purely freshwater species. It is also the sole freshwater species of Sardinella.

But within Taal Lake, the IUCN noted there are major threats to the survival of tawilis due to “overexploitation, pollution and competition and/or predation with introduced fishes, resulting in continuing declines in habitat quality and number of mature individuals.”

During the Tawilis Summit held last month at the University of Santo Tomas, the Philippine Society for Freshwater Science (PSFS) issued an official statement of support for the conservation and sustainable management of Sardinella tawilis in Taal Lake.

The PSFS said the closed fishing season for tawilis during the months of March and April should be strictly enforced.

The group also noted the importance of the involvement of government agencies and stakeholders, such as the DENR, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, local government units and fisherfolk organizations in order for the law governing the catch of tawilis to be carefully implemented.

“The regular monitoring of Taal Lake should also be undertaken as well as coming out with annual progress reports to evaluate the effectiveness of the initiatives,” PSFS said.

The group likewise recognized the big role academe plays in developing research programs that aim to remove the tawilis from the list of endangered species.

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