Taal’s tawilis faces danger of extinction

Sardinella tawilis, more popularly known as tawilis, is a freshwater sardine found exclusively in the Philippines. The fish species is a favorite dish widely served in tourist destinations such as Tagaytay and Taal.

However, it was reported that catch of tawilis has dropped dramatically over the past 10 years. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declared Tawilis is in danger of facing extinction.

The government is struggling to protect the famous tawilis which was newly declared an endangered species. Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) director Ed Gongona said the BFAR, in 2013, intended to implement a three-month fishing ban starting March or April in Taal Lake, the only area where the species grow in the wild. However, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) took no action.

While BFAR revives their proposal to DENR, there will be reserved space for preservation of Tawilis in Taal Lake, where only conventional and passive fishing methods are permitted.