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DENR mulls closed season to save ‘tawilis’ from extinction



CALAMBA CITY, Laguna – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources will declare a preservation area for the endemic “tawilis” fish species at the Taal Lake Protected Landscape and seasonal closure of fishing grounds, an official said.

DENR Undersecretary for Strategic Communications Benny Antiporda said the department is bent on protecting the tawilis from extinction after the International Union for Conservation of Nature based in Gland, Switzerland listed the Sardinella tawilis as an endangered species.

Aside from imposing a closed season to give the tawilis time to breed, the DENR will coordinate with other agencies, such as the Departments of Social Welfare and Development and Labor, to help fisher folk find an alternative livelihood.

Batangas Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office chief Elmer Bascos disclosed that even before the IUCN findings, the agency and the Protected Area Management Board have drawn up steps to preserve the tawilis.

He said DENR Region 4-A and DENR Batangas have set a meeting with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Region 4-A on Jan. 29 to discuss the issue and come up with policy recommendations.

“The meeting will identify tawilis conservation areas in the fishing grounds off the towns of Cuenca, Nicolas, and Balete,” Bascos said.

He added that PAMB has passed a resolution recommending a closed season for the tawilis harvest in March and April this year.

Bascos said the interagency meeting and the PAMB will also spearhead the seeding of the carp and other fish varieties in the lake to augment the livelihood of the fisherfolk. (PNA)