Here's What's Being Done to Keep the Tawilis From Being Wiped Out

Before the endemic freshwater fish goes extinct.

(SPOT.ph) Recent news about the local fish tawilis being endangered has finally alerted people of its declining population, sparking concern among Filipinos. The demand for the freshwater sardine, both local and international, has led to commercial overfishing, which cut the population by half in only 10 years. To prevent the extinction of the beloved fish, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources is stepping in by suggesting the enforcement of a closed fishing season in Taal Lake.

PHOTO BY Judgefloro
Wikimedia

Endemic to the lake, the three-month fishing ban was proposed to give the species time to spawn and increase its population. According to a report, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) director Ed Gongona said that the closed fishing season was actually proposed as early as 2013 but no action was taken. The bureau is planning to renew their proposal, noting that the ban must be enforced between March to April, the spawning season of the species.

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The tawilis, declared endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, is often sold as canned goods. Local food manufacturer San Marino is also taking steps in saving the species, announcing that it will stop producing bottled and canned tawilis to "protect and preserve our marine wildlife and natural resources." 

According to an official statement posted on Twitter, San Marino has already stopped producing tawilis products and will begin withdrawing their stocks from all stores as soon as possible.

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