For as long we can remember, we've all been eating tawilis, whether boiled, skewered, canned, or deep-fried, without a second thought.
Although this freshwater sardine can only be fished out of Taal Lake, it's shipped everywhere, so we all get to have it.
But sad news has arrived, and it's time to save the tawilis before we completely wipe them out!
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, our beloved Tawilis Is Endangered.
Mainly, commercial overfishing.
Then there are the bad fishing practices: using illegal fishing gear and fishing with gill nets that harvest fish before these have a chance to mature and reproduce.
Exacerbating the situation is pollution.
And this: the introduction of new species that prey on tawilis.
Tawilis hauls have been on the decline for quite some time now, with information available since 2015.
From hauls of 1,672 metric tons back in 1998, we went down to 107 metric tons in 2010.
Now we make the urgent call: STOP EATING TAWILIS. WE MUST GIVE THE FISH TIME TO POPULATE AGAIN AND FLOURISH.
Because tawilis is found nowhere else but Taal Lake, we only have one shot at making sure they are still here for the next generations to enjoy.
We may be part of the problem, but we can also be part of the solution.
Le us be mindful at the grocery and the wet market. DO NOT BUY TAWILIS.
Whenever we buy the tawilis, we are encouraging fishermen to feed our demand.
So, the next time you're at the market and encounter them, skip to the next seafood tray.
If you're craving fish, why not go for other available fish like hito or bangus?
This story originally appeared on YUMMY.PH.
*Minor edits have been made by the PEP.ph editors.