30 July 2007

Save The Tawilis

At one time or another, you must have heard of the name of this fish: Tawilis, or Tunsoy in the southern regions. This is quite a popular fish. Unfortunately, it's endemic only to Taal Lake in Batangas. You cannot find this freshwater sardine anywhere else in the world!

The demand for this fish simply cannot be satisfied by the Tawilis population. Each year results in less catch. And we cannot rely on government, NGO, and environmental awareness groups alone. We all must act if we are to save this fish.

We can all help in saving this fish in two simple ways:
1. Do not patronize Tawilis products! As the World Wildlife Foundation once said, "when the buying stops, the killing ends." While this was the slogan for the more highly-publicized ivory trade and whales, this slogan is also very much applicable to us.
2. Spread the word. I myself was surprised to learn that the Tawilis is in danger of extinction and yet it is heavily advertised in restaurants along Tagaytay as a specialty. Had I known before the plight of this fish, I would have discouraged its consumption. Now you can have a more informed choice.

Feel free to copy the simple banner and display it in your site or blog.

Thank you, and hopefully that we can all make a difference.

References:
Wikipedia
Fishbase
Google for Tawilis to get other information

18 comments:

  1. Hi Watson. I didn't know Tawilis population is dwindling. Thanks for this information.

    Tawilis is often served here especially when there are balikbayan guests. It's openly sold in the market in our area. Ironically, I've never tried it before.

    I'll share this info to my husband and his family.

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  2. I'm sorry to say it, but if you can't get your government to do a job that is inherently it's to do, then average citizens here will most certainly not. If its between "eating-making a living" or "saving a sardine," I think you know which will win out.

    I don't know about you, but I've become very frustrated at the unresponsive ineffectiveness of the government here.

    I've been to waters where there are almost no fish left due to overfishing, and because of the use of dynamite and poison. All done supposedly under the "watchful" eye of government conservation officials. Sigh....

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  3. I suppose all we can do is spread the word and hope that people will do the right thing. As they say, "Extinction is forever."

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  4. Rach: thanks!

    Phil: As I was searching through the web about the Tawilis, I read about a proposal on safeguarding the Tawilis population through active measures, but that proposal was dated 1995. Of course I wonder now if ever it had been implemented. If we are to depend on government initiatives and do nothing, what will happen then? If the government does not do its part and we don't do our part, what will happen then? So let's not depend on others for this. Let's do our share in the information drive, and knock on the doors of the government agency responsible for nature conservation. If the Tawilis dies out, it will not only be the families depending on this fish that will suffer, but us as well. Let's stop patronizing this fish. For now.

    Wil: Thanks!

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  5. even if served with tawilis, i am not going to eat it because i only eat fish na pamilyar ako (tulingan, tilapia, bangus, galunggong, etc).

    but seriously, it should be controlled, and not patronizing any tawilis product is one, huge step for its preservation.

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  6. tama yan. mga taga-taal lake din ang makakasagip dyan dahil sila ang humuhuli dun

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  7. binasa ko yung mga na-miz kong entry mo at nakita ko yung mga pagkain made of Tawilis! ano ang lasa ng buko juice na may tawilis? yaaaay!

    anyway, kokonti na lang pala sila.. so paano yun? dapat bang ipasara ang RSM??! sa tingin mo??

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  8. may entry ako tungkol dito.

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  9. zherwin: yeah, and I hope it's not too late. I will write a letter to the local government of Batangas about the plight of the Tawilis

    Tutubi: As long as we don't patronize the Tawilis, they won't have reason to overfish it. I just wish we can spread the news.

    rho: Hindi naman... encourage lang sila na hwag mag-serve ng tawilis sa menu nila

    Cathy: sige daan ako sa blog mo.

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  10. "when the buying stops, the killing ends."-loved this qoute.

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  11. Anonymous9:06 pm

    you're doing an admirable job
    nothing short of amazing ,really

    you have a daunting task before you
    but you have taken the first step
    where others fear to tread

    you have my word
    I will not eat tawilis as long as it's still endangered

    and I'll help spread your message

    you da man!

    A

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  12. Hello A. Your writing style is familiar.... hmmm... thanks for the show of support!

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  13. Daniel: Ey thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you can spread the word about the silent plight of the Tawilis as well.

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  14. I admire your spirit, but lets see what happens to these poor little fish...

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  15. Phil: I plan to write some letters about this. Let's hope something does happen. on the positive side.

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  16. Anonymous5:44 pm

    to save a country, you start by saving a fish

    if the filipinos can't save a little fish in their backyard, how do you expect them to save a country?

    A

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  17. A: poetically said.

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  18. Anonymous7:30 pm

    oh man, and here I was feeding my aquarium fish with Tawilis as feeders, because it comes out a lot cheeper than feeder goldfish...hmmm sana the cartimar folks will start to breed tawilis...

    ReplyDelete

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