Rest In Fish: Tawilis

Originally authored on January 26, 2019

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What really caused the steady decline of endemic TAWILIS?

The proliferation of fish cages is way beyond the established carrying capacity which should just be 10 percent of the 94,000 hectare lake as against the current of over 60 percent occupied by big fishing companies. Of course, this caused the lake to reach the point where conservation efforts would no longer be effective.

The inventory of 76 migratory and endemic species were now down to 15 or less. The catch of the most endemic, TAWILIS dropped to more than 80 percent.

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In 2012, Supreme Court released the Writ of Kalikasan to stop the further issuance of clearance to fish cage operators. There was an unsettling issue in 2014 of Pusod Taal Lake Conservation Center where 28 commercial and backyard piggeries were illegally discharging animal wastes down Lipute River which is a tributary of Taal Lake. “Whatever happened to environmental laws?”

Barring the quality of water in Taal Lake, do the present overcrowding of approximately 6,000 cages located in different municipalities surrounding the lake spark the deterioration of TAWILIS quality if not, its mortality?



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