Rest in fish, ‘tawilis’ | Inquirer Opinion
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Rest in fish, ‘tawilis’

05:01 AM January 30, 2019

What caused the steady decline of the endemic tawilis and other Taal Lake species?

The proliferation of fish cages and fish pens is way beyond the established carrying capacity of the lake, which should just be 10 percent of its 94,000 hectares, as against the more than 60 percent that has been occupied by big fishing companies.

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This caused the lake to reach a point where conservation efforts are no longer effective.

The fish inventory of Taal Lake listed 76 migratory and endemic species in 1927, but 50 years later, the inventory was down to 15.

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The catch of tawilis, the most endemic species, dropped by more than 80 percent. Obviously, the occurrence of fish kill was due to the government’s failure to enforce existing environmental laws.

Whatever happened to the Supreme Court’s writ of kalikasan in 2012 to stop the further issuance of clearance for fish cage operators?

Was the issue over 28 commercial and backyard piggeries discharging animal wastes to Lipute River, a tributary of Taal Lake, ever checked?

And did the overcrowding of approximately 6,000 or more fish cages in different municipalities surrounding the lake spark the deterioration of tawilis quality, and soon, its mortality?

Rehabilitate Taal Lake now!

NORMA G. ATIENZA,
Board of Trustees,
Pamanlahi Inc.,

[email protected]

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TAGS: fighins, Inquirer letters, Norma G. Atienza, Taal Lake, tawilis
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