An international organization recently listed Sardinella tawilis as endangered. The IUCN is the International Union for Conservation of Nature based in Gland, Switzerland ( https://bit.ly/2RI7mvG ). It is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it and counts governments, private institutions including NGOs and individuals as members. It maintains a Red List that contains the conservation status of species.
Tawilis used to be under the status ""data deficient" which only meant no one had assessed it yet.
The 2018 listing is based on an assessment by Santos, M., Munroe, T.A., Di Dario, F., Hata, H., Torres, F. & Quilang, J.P. The justification of this team for the listing "are major threats to fish diversity and this species due to overexploitation, pollution and competition and/or predation with introduced fishes, resulting in continuing declines in habitat quality and number of mature individuals."
Listing as references numerous Philippine researchers including Aypa, Mercene-Mutia, Villanueva from BFAR focused on research on the species, as well as Mamaril, Joson-Pagulayan and Papa from the academe, the assessment further justified that "catches of this species have declined significantly since at least 1998, and it is estimated that harvest has declined by about 49% over the past 10 years (more than three generation lengths). Fishing effort using illegal gears which target this species in the lake is increasing, but at this time the rate of increase has not been quantified specifically, so it is inferred that the population has declined by at least 50% over the past 10 years, which qualifies it for Endangered."
Philippine government policy does not officially and automatically use the IUCN redlist. The reliance of both BFAR and DENR would have to be definitive rules such as Fisheries Administrative Orders or Department Administrative Orders respectively classifying a species as endangered for the wildlife laws to apply. The penalties for catching endangered species is up to 12 years imprisonment if officially listed.
On January 29, 2019 the DENR CALABARZON Regional and Provincial offices and Regional Office of BFAR will be discussing the listing to decide policy recommendations. The agencies' options are either to issue department orders following the listing and prohibit catch or determining that catch is within capacity and the measures placed are sufficient to address the concern. DENR CALABARZON and TVPL Protected Area Management Board commits to conduct an intensive monitoring of the S. tawilis population side-by-side with the listed threats as well as the water quality of the lake.
Para sa dagdag na impormasyon o sumbong:
ANN HAZEL D. JAVIER
Regional Public Affairs Office
DENR Region 4A CALABARZON
Barangay Mayapa, Calamba, Laguna