Taal Lake, Luzon Island
Conservation benefit: 2,471-acre fish sanctuary
Community benefit: Repair of storm-damaged Taal Lake Conservation Center
Beautiful Taal Lake, which fills a large caldera, was once part of the ocean. But over hundreds of years, volcanic eruptions cut the lake off from the South China Sea. Its unique history makes the lake home to many endemic species, including the tawilis, a freshwater sardine that greatly contributes to the local economy and food supply. Overfishing and the introduction of invasive species threaten both the endemic and migratory species. Particularly damaging are the Nile tilapia, which escaped from the fishpens that proliferated during the 1980s, Chinese soft-shelled turtle, and the jaguar guapote.
An organization of small-scale fisherfolk, KMMLT, has spearheaded efforts to sustainably manage Taal’s resources. In 2009, a 2,471-acre (1,000-hectare) fish sanctuary was established, and the KMMLT has actively supported it through regular patrols. Aware that fishing alone will not support the local economy, the KMMLT has been training members in alternative livelihoods, such as beekeeping and ecotourism, at the Taal Lake Conservation Center.
The group has committed to protect the fish sanctuary for at least 10 more years. In return, Seacology is funding repairs to the conservation center’s kitchen and roof, which Typhoon Glenda damaged in 2014. The grant will also fund the installation of solar panels.
- April 2016
- Repairs to the conservation center at Taal Lake, badly damaged by Typhoon Glenda, are now complete. The center got a new roof, solar panels, rainwater catchment system, and kitchen. The center...
- November 2015
- Seacology's Philippines field representative, Ferdie Marcelo, visited Taal Lake this month and reports that much progress has been made. The roof of the Taal Lake Convention Center (TLCC) has...
- May 2015
- Repair and improvement of the conservation center has begun. Most, if not all, of the fisherfolk in the lake are members of the KMMLT and are respecting the fish sanctuary, knowing that the...