The University of Santo Tomas recently staged the Tawilis Summit 2019 in a bid to shed light on the most recent scientific information on Sardinella tawilis which was declared endangered species.
Tawilis, a freshwater sardine found exclusively in the Philippines, is the only known member of the genus Sardinella that can exist entirely in freshwater.
Keynote speaker Dr. Mudjekeewis Santos from the UST Graduate School, who is also an academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology, presented “The IUCN assessment of Sardinella tawilis as an endangered species,” of which he is the main author.
Other speakers included Dr. Maria Theresa M. Mutia, who tackled “Tawilis fishery reserves and spawning grounds;” Dr. Jonas Quilang, who presented “Phylogeny of S. tawilis;” Alicia Ely J. Pagulayan, who discussed “Reproductive biology of S. tawilis;” Rey Donne S. Papa, Ph.D., who talked about “Updates on the limno-ecological studies on Lake Taal;” and Ipat Luna, who explained “Management and conservation initiatives.”
A roundtable discussion followed with Roberto C. Pagulayan, Ph.D., as the rapporteur.
The whole-day event culminated with the reading of the PSFS Declaration, which summarized the key points of discussion from various stakeholders and participants. From this summary, PSFS will come up with its official stand on the declaration of Sardinella tawilis as an endangered species, which will be submitted to the appropriate government agencies for their perusal.
Spearheaded by the Philippine Society for Freshwater Science, the summit was made possible through the cooperation of the UST Department of Biological Sciences, University of the Philippines Diliman Institute of Biology, National Fisheries Development and Research Institute, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Region 4A.
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