Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) imposed a two-month fishing moratorium and declaring certain fishing grounds as “tawilis no-take zones”. This is one of the efforts made by the government in addressing the endangered tawilis from extinction.
Idea of a massive rehabilitation in the near future for Taal Lake similar to what was done in Boracay was rejected by DENR Undersecretary for Local Government Units (LGUs) and Solid Waste Management Concerns Benny D. Antiporda.
Moreover, hundred of small fishermen attain source of income and livelihood from Taal Lake, being known as the third largest lake in the Philippines.
To date, the lake’s ecosystem faced various environmental problem which threaten the integrity of the ecosystem. Thus, it result extinction of native fish including the Tawilis.
Recently, according to Philippine News Agency, Tawilis was reported for being extinct due to overfishing and pollution.
Government’s Actions in Addressing Endangered Tawilis
However, the local government assured that Taal lake is manageable.
The idea of declaring several fishing grounds within the lake as tawilis reservation areas, is being supported by Antiporda. Respectively, he imparted that fishing moratorium from April-May is enough to allow the now endangered tawilis to reproduce and replenish the lake.
According to the Business Mirror report, “the DENR through the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of the Taal Lake Protected Landscape (TLPL), the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) and concerned LGUs surrounding Taal Lake have agreed to declare fishing grounds in Balete, San Nicholas and Cuenca towns as tawilis reservation areas after they have been identified as breeding ground of the rare freshwater fish”.
Significantly,Superintendent of the TLPL Elmer Bascos said that stakeholders of Taal Lake agreed to conduct further study about the tawilis after a group of fishermen, vendors and restaurant owners questioned the basis of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to declare the Tawilis “endangered.” Hence,Basco also said that Execom will carry out scientific inquiry to determine whether the IUCN report about tawilis is accurate or not.
During fishing ban, FAR, DENR and concerned LGUs are responsible in monitoring fishing activities, including wet markets to ensure that fishermen are abiding by the rule.
“If fishermen will fish for their own consumption, it is okay. But if we found out that they are selling in the market, or if vendors are selling in the market, it is a violation,” Bascos said.