GLOBAL ONE NEWS — A type of sardine unique to the Philippines has been listed as endangered by an international environmental body.

An International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) report said Sardinella tawilis — locally known as tawilis— is now an endangered species.

The report said the freshwater sardine’s population in its natural habitat in Taal Lake has declined by 49% over the last 20 years.

Significant threats to tawilis include over-exploitation, pollution, competition and predation by introduced invasive fishes, such as blackchin tilapia and janitor fish.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said it’s considering imposing a three-month fishing ban in Taal Lake by March or April to curb the issue.

It claimed it pushed for a similar ban in 2013, but the environment department allegedly did not take action.

Meanwhile, a local canned goods brand announced last week it would stop the manufacturing of its products containing tawilis.