Conservation group says tawilis is endangered species
Tawilis, a freshwater sardine in the world only found in Taal Lake, was marked as endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Mudjekeewis Santos of the National Academy of Science and Technology sees the addition of tawilis in the world's endangered species list as a "wake up call."
In an interview over GMA's 24 Oras Thursday, he said; ‘’ it is a step closer to being extinct.’’
‘’ We should not allow it to become critically endangered by doing nothing. There is still hope,” said Santos, adding there are measures being done.
Last year, IUCN reported that based on an assessment in February 2017, tawilis has been in its red list of world's endangered species.
"Within Lake Taal, there are major threats to fish diversity and this species due to overexploitation, pollution and competition and/or predation with introduced fishes, resulting in continuing declines in habitat quality and number of mature individuals," IUCN said.
It was also mentioned that as the population of tawilis has been declining since 1998, the rate of fishing has been increasing.
"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," the study said.
IUCN cited "illegal use of active fishing gears such as motorized push net and ring net, proliferation of fish cages and deterioration of water quality” as factors that caused the decline of the population of tawilis.
IUCN said conservation actions, including land/water management, site/area management, species management and harvest management should be highly implemented to preserve the species' population. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS